Treatment with peginterferon versus interferon in Chinese patients with chronic hepatitis C
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Higher sustained virological response (SVR) rates after treating with peginterferon than after treating with interferon have been obtained in some randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in Chinese patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). However, the numbers of patients included in these clinical trials were too small to draw a clear conclusion. Therefore, a new meta-analysis including a large number of patients was needed to compare peginterferon with interferon in the treatment of Chinese CHC patients. A search of Medline, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, the Wanfang Database, and the China Biomedical Database for relevant articles published between 1966 and 2009 was performed. RCTs comparing the use of peginterferon and interferon for the treatment of Chinese patients with CHC were assessed. Of the 236 studies screened, 18 RCTs including 1,148 patients (659 treated with peginterferon therapy and 489 treated with interferon therapy) were analyzed. The total SVR rates obtained in patients treated with peginterferon were significantly higher than those obtained in patients treated with interferon (64% vs. 40%; relative risk, 1.56; 95% confidence interval: 1.28–1.91; p < 0.01), but the difference between the peginterferon α-2b and interferon α-2b treatments was not significant. Withdrawal rates were similar between patients treated with peginterferon and interferon. Chinese patients with CHC have a greater likelihood of achieving an SVR with peginterferon α-2a.