Quantitative analysis of hepatitis C viras RNA: relationship between the replicative level and the various stages of the carrier states or the response to interferon therapy
- Cite this article as:
- Hagiwara, H., Hayashi, N., Fusamoto, H. et al. Gastroenterol Jpn (1993) 28(Suppl 5): 48. doi:10.1007/BF02989205
The authors quantified hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA in serum by the competitive RT-PCR assay to correlate the replicative level of HCV with  various stages of the carrier states or  a sustained response to inteferon therapy. The competitive RT-PCR assay employed is based on coamplification of the target RNA with known amounts of synthetic mutated RNA having a novel restriction endonuclease (EcoRI) site. The titer of circulating HCV RNA defined as log10 (copy numbers/ml serum) were lower in asymptomatic blood donors (5.4±2.0) and in patients with chronic persistent hepatitis (7.3± 1.1) compared with those having chronic active hepatitis (7.9±0.8), liver cirrhosis (7.8±0.7) and hepatocellular carcinoma (7.9±0.7). The initial titer of circulating HCV RNA of long-term responders before interferon therapy (7.1±1.2) was significantly lower than that of short-term responders (8.+-0.5) and non-responders (8.1±0.4). Multivariate multiple logistic regression showed that the titer of HCV RNA before therapy was the strongest independent predictor of a sustained response to interferon therapy. These results showed that the replicative level of hepatitis C virus is higher in advanced liver disease and that the replicative state of HCV is the most important factor influencing sustained response to interferon treatment.