Background/Aims: The efficacy of interferon-α and ribavirin combination therapy for GB virus C/hepatitis G virus infection is not well understood. We previously conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial using high-dose interferon-α2b with or without ribavirin for patients with interferon-α-relapsed chronic hepatitis C. Methodology: Fifty-two patients were randomly assigned and completed the 24-week treatment of interferon-α2b (6 million units three times per week) plus ribavirin (1000 to 1200mg/daily), or plus a matched placebo. Patients were then followed for an additional 24 weeks. Results: Of the 52 patients, 5 patients (9.6%) had hepatitis G virus viremia before or during enrollment. Two patients received interferon-α2b alone and three patients received interferon-α2b and ribavirin combination therapy. At the end of treatment, all of the 5 patients had undetectable hepatitis G virus RNA in sera. Early loss of hepatitis G virus RNA at week 4 of treatment was observed in the 2 patients on combination therapy. Hepatitis G virus RNA reappeared at the end of follow-up in these 5 patients. Conclusions: In conclusion, interferon-α2b and ribavirin combination therapy could induce earlier loss of hepatitis G virus RNA than interferon-α2b alone. Either interferon-α2b alone or interferon-α2b and ribavirin combination therapy achieved transient but not sustained virological response to hepatitis G virus viremia.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 2003 Mar|
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