Virological response is associated with decline in hemoglobin concentration during pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy in hepatitis C virus genotype 1
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Research › peer-review
Anemia may increase the likelihood of achieving a sustained virological response (SVR) during pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. To determine whether hemoglobin decline is associated with SVR, we retrospectively evaluated the CHARIOT study of 871 treatment-naive HCV genotype 1 patients. Anemia (serum hemoglobin 30g/L from baseline occurred in 76 of patients overall, including 526 patients who did not become anemic. Virological responses were higher in anemic patients compared with those who did not develop anemia (end of treatment, 80 versus 65 , P = 0.003; SVR, 61 versus 50 , P = 0.02); these differences remained significant when patients receiving erythropoietin were excluded from analysis. SVR was also higher in patients with hemoglobin decline >30 g/L compared with patients without a similar decline. In multiple logistic regression analyses with treatment group and baseline characteristics, the odds ratio for SVR was 1.97 (95 confidence interval, 1.08-3.62) for anemia and 2.17 (95 confidence interval, 1.31-3.62) for hemoglobin decline >30 g/L. Patients who first developed a hemoglobin decline >30 g/L during weeks 5-12 and 13-48 were more likely to achieve SVR than those who first developed such changes in weeks 0-4 or who never experienced them. CONCLUSION: Patients with HCV genotype 1 infection who develop anemia or experience a hemoglobin decline >30 g/L during weeks 5-48 of therapy achieve higher virological responses to pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy that are unrelated to erythropoietin use.