Background: Occult HBV infection in subjects with chronic hepatitis C is related to more severe disease outcome. It has been suggested that it might reduce sensitivity to antiviral treatment. Aims: To assess in HBsAg negative subjects with chronic hepatitis C any effect of the presence of HBV genomes in the liver on the early kinetics of HCV-RNA under PEG-IFN plus ribavirin. Patients and methods: Twenty-two anti-HCV and HCV-RNA positive subjects, with biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis C (M/F 15/7; 50 ± 8.6 years, 16 genotype 1b) were given PEG-IFN α 2b 1.0 μg qw plus ribavirin (800 to 1,200 mg daily according to body weight) for an intended 52 week period. Early virological response was assessed over the first 4 weeks of therapy by quantifying HCV-RNA. Occult HBV infection was assessed by testing for HBV-DNA in the liver before therapy. Results: HBV genomes were found in the liver of 7 of 22 (31.4%) patients, unrelated to anti-HBc status. Kinetics of HCV-RNA during the first 4 weeks of antiviral treatment was unaffected by occult HBV infection, both in terms of absolute reduction of viral load and of number of cases with a reduction of ≥ 2 log10on treatment. Conclusions: Occult HBV infection does not affect the early phase of response to combination therapy. Further follow-up of patients into the maintenance phase of antiviral treatment and after stopping it will clarify if and when occult HBV has a role in reducing sustained virological response.

Occult HBV infection and suppression of HCV replication in the early phase of combination therapy for chronic hepatitis C

CACCIOLA, Irene;SQUADRITO, Giovanni;RAIMONDO, Giovanni
2003

Abstract

Background: Occult HBV infection in subjects with chronic hepatitis C is related to more severe disease outcome. It has been suggested that it might reduce sensitivity to antiviral treatment. Aims: To assess in HBsAg negative subjects with chronic hepatitis C any effect of the presence of HBV genomes in the liver on the early kinetics of HCV-RNA under PEG-IFN plus ribavirin. Patients and methods: Twenty-two anti-HCV and HCV-RNA positive subjects, with biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis C (M/F 15/7; 50 ± 8.6 years, 16 genotype 1b) were given PEG-IFN α 2b 1.0 μg qw plus ribavirin (800 to 1,200 mg daily according to body weight) for an intended 52 week period. Early virological response was assessed over the first 4 weeks of therapy by quantifying HCV-RNA. Occult HBV infection was assessed by testing for HBV-DNA in the liver before therapy. Results: HBV genomes were found in the liver of 7 of 22 (31.4%) patients, unrelated to anti-HBc status. Kinetics of HCV-RNA during the first 4 weeks of antiviral treatment was unaffected by occult HBV infection, both in terms of absolute reduction of viral load and of number of cases with a reduction of ≥ 2 log10on treatment. Conclusions: Occult HBV infection does not affect the early phase of response to combination therapy. Further follow-up of patients into the maintenance phase of antiviral treatment and after stopping it will clarify if and when occult HBV has a role in reducing sustained virological response.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/1599073
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