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Response prediction and treatment tailoring for chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1 infection

Journal article
Authors Magnus Lindh
Erik Alestig
Birgitta Arnholm
Anders Eilard
Kristoffer Hellstrand
Martin Lagging
Thomas Wahlberg
Rune Wejstål
Johan Westin
Gunnar Norkrans
Published in J Clin Microbiol
Volume 45
Issue 8
Pages 2439-45
ISSN 0095-1137 (Print)
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 2439-45
Language en
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


We monitored early viral response during the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with the aim of identifying predictors of treatment outcome. We studied 53 patients with genotype 1 infection who received 180 microg/week pegylated interferon alfa-2a and 1,000 or 1,200 mg/day ribavirin depending on body weight and serially assessed HCV RNA in serum, using the Cobas TaqMan assay. Thirty-one patients (58%) achieved sustained viral response (SVR). SVR was obtained in 100% (10/10) of patients with pretreatment viremia concentrations below 400,000 IU/ml, in 100% (14/14) of patients with more than 1.5 log reduction of HCV RNA after 4 days of treatment, and in 95% (22/23) of patients with a rate of decline in viremia higher than 0.70 log units/week during the second phase. Non-SVR was seen in all patients with a second-phase decline rate lower than 0.35 log units/week. Patients with slopes between 0.50 and 0.80 log units/week achieved SVR (4/4) unless the treatment dose was modified (3/3). We conclude that the second-phase slope appears to be an accurate and useful predictor of treatment response. On the basis of these findings, we propose a model of tailored treatment which takes into account the second-phase slope and the amount of HCV RNA after 21 days of treatment.

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