Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 40, Issue 11, pp 2431–2433

Elevated serum iron predicts poor response to interferon treatment in patients with chronic HCV infection

  • Nadir Arber
  • Menachem Moshkowitz
  • Fred Konikoff
  • Zamir Halpern
  • Aharon Hallak
  • Moshe Santo
  • Elisa Tiomny
  • Mimi Baratz
  • Tuvia Gilat
Liver: Infectious, Inflammatory, And Metabolic Disorders

DOI: 10.1007/BF02063249

Cite this article as:
Arber, N., Moshkowitz, M., Konikoff, F. et al. Digest Dis Sci (1995) 40: 2431. doi:10.1007/BF02063249

Abstract

To date, there are no firm clinical, demographic, biochemical, serologic, or histologic features predicting which patients with chronic hepatitis C are more likely to respond to therapy with interferon-α. Serum iron, total iron-binding capacity, transferrin saturation, and ferritin were measured in the fasting state. The amount of stainable iron in liver biopsy specimens was evaluated histochemically as well. All patients received subcutaneous recombinant human IFN-α2a three million units thrice weekly by self-administration. Eleven of 13 (84%) responders had low to normal serum iron levels as compared to one of 26 (4%) nonresponders (P<0.001). The serum transferrin was similar in both groups, but iron saturation was significantly lower in responders (30±10%) than in nonresponders (53±12%) (P<0.001). Serum ferritin and hepatic iron content were higher in nonresponders (NS). It is suggested that increased serum iron and transferrin saturation blunt the action of interferon, as they have opposite effects on the immune system. Iron overload can thus lead to a poor response to interferon. It remains to be seen whether reducing iron overload will improve the response to interferon therapy.

Key words

serum ironinterferonhepatitis C

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadir Arber
    • 1
  • Menachem Moshkowitz
    • 1
  • Fred Konikoff
    • 1
  • Zamir Halpern
    • 1
  • Aharon Hallak
    • 1
  • Moshe Santo
    • 1
  • Elisa Tiomny
    • 1
  • Mimi Baratz
    • 1
  • Tuvia Gilat
    • 1
  1. 1.From the Departments of Gastroenterology and Pathology, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical CenterIchilov Hospital and Sackler Faculty of Medicine Tel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Columbia Cancer CenterNew York