Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 64, Issue 1–3, pp 185–196

Failure to respond to interferon-α 2a therapy is associated with increased hepatic iron levels in patients with chronic hepatitis C

  • Fujito Kageyama
  • Yoshimasa Kobayashi
  • Gou Murohisa
  • Erina Shimizu
  • Fumitaka Suzuki
  • Masataka Kikuyama
  • Kenichi Souda
  • Tsunehisa Kawasaki
  • Hirotoshi Nakamura
Original Articles

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 

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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fujito Kageyama
    • 1
  • Yoshimasa Kobayashi
    • 1
  • Gou Murohisa
    • 1
  • Erina Shimizu
    • 1
  • Fumitaka Suzuki
    • 1
  • Masataka Kikuyama
    • 1
  • Kenichi Souda
    • 1
  • Tsunehisa Kawasaki
    • 1
  • Hirotoshi Nakamura
    • 1
  1. 1.Second Division, Department of Internal MedicineHamamatsu University School of MedicineShizuokaJapan

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