, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 977-982

Predicting interferon therapy efficacy from hepatitis C virus genotype and RNA titer

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We classified 53 Japanese patients with chronic hepatitis C who were treated with natural interferon-α into genotypes and also tested the amounts of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA. The rate of the long-term complete response group, whose alanine aminotransferase levels remained within the normal range during the six months after therapy, was significantly higher (P<0.01) in the type-III patients (4/5, 80.0%) than in type-II patients (4/43, 9.3%). For these long-term complete responders, the amounts of HCV RNA was less than 107 copies/ml serum in type-II patients, whereas two type-III patients with relatively high amounts of HCV RNA responded completely. These results confirm that the genotype of HCV is an important factor for predicting the response to interferon therapy. The amounts of HCV RNA can also predict its efficacy in type-II patients.

This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Japan, and the Research Group of Intractable Hepatitis sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan.