Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 181, Issue 1, pp 53–58 | Cite as

Rapid, early and sustained virological responses in a cohort of Irish patients treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C virus infection

  • S. Sarwar
  • E. J. Ryan
  • M. Iqbal
  • P. A. McCormick
  • C. O’Farrelly
  • J. Hegarty
Original Article



The response to the treatment with pegylated interferon (PEG IFN)-α combined with ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection varies with some patients having a rapid or early response which is not sustained.


To investigate the rates of rapid virological response (RVR), early virological response (EVR) and sustained virological response (SVR) in an Irish cohort of HCV infected patients receiving IFN-α/ribavirin.


Rates of RVR, EVR and SVR were examined in 123 patients undergoing standard treatment for chronic HCV infection between 2001 and 2007 at a Dublin Teaching Hospital.


The rates of RVR, EVR and SVR in genotype 1 patients were 48, 68 and 50%, while in genotype 2/3 patients they were 87, 93 and 87%, respectively. The positive predictive values (PPV) of RVR for SVR in genotype 1 and genotype 2/3 patients were 90 and 92.4%, respectively.


The rates of response to PEG IFN-α/ribavirin in Irish patients are consistent with other international reports. We support the regular monitoring of rapid and early virological response as a standard of care in treating chronic hepatitis C patients.


Hepatitis C Rapid early and sustained virological responses Predictive value Early viral kinetics Pegylated interferon-α Ribavirin 



Rapid virological response


Early virological response


End of treatment response


Sustained virological response


Positive predictive value


Negative predictive value


Hepatitis C virus


Pegylated interferon-α


Aspartate aminotransferase


Alanine aminotransferase


White cell count



The authors are grateful to all study participants. The Hepatitis C Clinical Nurse Specialists, Carol McNulty, Aileen Murphy and Sheila O’Toole are acknowledged for their help and support during data collection. The Health Research Board provided funding. This study was funded by a Translational Research Award from the Irish Health Research Board. Prof. Aiden Mc Cormick has received honoraria from Merk & Janssen Cilag.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Sarwar
    • 1
  • E. J. Ryan
    • 2
  • M. Iqbal
    • 1
  • P. A. McCormick
    • 1
  • C. O’Farrelly
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. Hegarty
    • 1
  1. 1.Liver UnitSt Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.School of Biochemistry and ImmunologyTrinity CollegeDublin 4Ireland
  3. 3.School of Biochemistry and Immunology and School of MedicineTrinity CollegeDublin 2Ireland

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