Failure to respond to interferon-α 2a therapy is associated with increased hepatic iron levels in patients with chronic hepatitis C
Received: 22 July 1997 Revised: 30 November 1997 Accepted: 15 December 1997 DOI:
10.1007/BF02783335 Cite this article as: Kageyama, F., Kobayashi, Y., Murohisa, G. et al. Biol Trace Elem Res (1998) 64: 185. doi:10.1007/BF02783335 ABSTRACT
Recent reports suggest the hepatic iron concentration (HIC) may influence the activity of hepatitis and the response to interferon (IFN) therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CH-C). We have evaluated iron status in 28 patients with CH-C and determined if pretreatment iron status can predict the response to IFN-α therapy in these patients. Increased serum iron, transferrin saturation, and ferritin levels were observed in 3 (11%), 11 (39%), and 5 (18%) patients, respectively. Hepatic iron deposits were histologically detected in 17 (61%) patients, and 14 of them had stainable hepatocytic iron. However, all HIC values were within the normal range (203–1279 μg/g). Seven of 17 patients treated with IFN-α for 6 mo had normalization of serum transaminases and disappearance of serum HCV-RNA (responders). Nonresponders had a significantly higher median HIC compared with responders (710 vs 343 μg/g, respectively;
p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in other pretreatment iron parameters, serum HCV-RNA level, or HCV-genotype between responders and nonresponders. In conclusion, mild hepatic iron accumulation occurs in patients with CH-C. Increased hepatic iron stores are associated with poor response to IFN therapy. Pretreatment HIC may be an additional host-specific parameter with a predictive value for responsiveness to IFN therapy, in addition to well-known predictive viral factors. Index entries Iron chronic hepatitis C liver interferon-α therapy References
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