The Netherlands journal of medicine vol:47 issue:6 pages:265-71
OBJECTIVE: Since only a small proportion of patients with chronic hepatitis C benefit from interferon therapy, we assessed the viral factors such as HCV genotype and the level of viraemia for prediction of interferon response. METHODS: HCV genotype and serum levels of HCV-RNA were determined in 24 patients before, during and after interferon treatment. RESULTS: Pre-treatment serum levels of HCV-RNA were significantly lower in patients with normalization of serum ALT and disappearance of serum HCV-RNA upon therapy than in patients with persistent abnormal ALT and/or serum HCV-RNA positivity. Sole infection with HCV genotype 1b was associated with a significantly higher pre-treatment serum HCV-RNA level than infection with genotype other than 1b or mixed types. CONCLUSIONS: HCV genotype and pre-treatment serum HCV-RNA levels are indeed important predictors for response to interferon treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis C.