Original Publication Date
The New England Journal of Medicine
DOI of Original Publication
Date of Submission
Only 15 to 20 percent of patients with chronic hepatitis C have a sustained virologic response to interferon therapy. We compared the efficacy and safety of recombinant interferon alfa-2b alone with those of a combination of interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin for the initial treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C.
We randomly assigned 912 patients with chronic hepatitis C to receive standard-dose interferon alfa-2b alone or in combination with ribavirin (1000 or 1200 mg orally per day, depending on body weight) for 24 or 48 weeks. Efficacy was assessed by measurements of serum hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA and serum aminotransferases and by liver biopsy.
The rate of sustained virologic response (defined as an undetectable serum HCV RNA level 24 weeks after treatment was completed) was higher among patients who received combination therapy for either 24 weeks (70 of 228 patients, 31 percent) or 48 weeks (87 of 228 patients, 38 percent) than among patients who received interferon alone for either 24 weeks (13 of 231 patients, 6 percent) or 48 weeks (29 of 225 patients, 13 percent) (P
In patients with chronic hepatitis C, initial therapy with interferon and ribavirin was more effective than treatment with interferon alone.
From The New England Journal of Medicine, McHutchison, J.G., Gordon, S.C., Schiff, E.R., et al., Interferon Alfa-2b Alone or in Combination with Ribavirin as Initial Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis C, Vol. 339, Page 1485, Copyright © 1998 Massachusetts Medical Society. Reprinted with permission.
Is Part Of
VCU Internal Medicine Publications