Interferon-α therapy for chronic hepatitis C in special patient populations
- Cite this article as:
- Marcellin, P., Boyer, N., Behamou, JP. et al. Digest Dis Sci (1996) 41(Suppl 12): 126S. doi:10.1007/BF02087888
- 12 Downloads
Interferon-α therapy for chronic hepatitis C in special patient populations raises a number of issues. Patients with hemophilia, kidney disease requiring hemodialysis, mixed cryoglobulinemia, HIV infection, and those receiving an allograft share some characteristics that complicate the treatment of hepatitis C virus infections. These patients generally have some degree of immune deficiency, higher levels of hepatitis C virus replication, and are infected with genotypes 1a or 1b. Each of these characteristics is often associated with a poor response to interferon therapy. Clinical research in this area also has been limited. Current data and clinical experience demonstrate that interferon-α therapy should be considered in patients with hemophilia who have concurrent hepatitis C viral infection. Other hepatitis C virus-infected patient populations in which interferon-α therapy may be beneficial include those undergoing hemodialysis, mixed cryoglobulinemia, or HIV infection. Further, the high incidence of relapse following treatment cessation in these patients warrants prolonged administration of interferon-α. Patients undergoing renal or hepatic allograft transplantation who develop hepatitis C virus infections are not as likely to benefit from interferon-α therapy. These patients may be at risk for allograft rejection during interferon treatment.