Efficacy of short-term antiviral combination treatment in chronic hepatitis C
To assess the effectiveness of short course of antiviral treatment (AVT) in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) 280 patients were tested and treated (145 with genotype 1 and 135 with genotypes 2 and 3). 190/280 patients received standard combined interferon therapy. In this group treatment duration depended on HCV genotype: 48 weeks for patients with genotype 1 and 24 weeks for genotypes 2 and 3. 90/280 patients received short course of therapy. Patients enrolled in this group had undetectable HCV RNA level at week 4, i.e. they had rapid virological response (RVR). Mean viral load in this group at baseline was 2,06õ10*6 IU/ml. Mean duration of short AVT was 29 weeks in patients with genotype 1 and 19 weeks in genotypes 2 and 3. Reduced duration of AVT with “short-lasting” interferons and ribavirin lead to 2-fold decrease in effectiveness of treatment. At the same time in patients with RVR treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin reduced treatment duration was not associated with its decreased effectiveness. Moreover, prevalence and severity of treatment adverse events was significantly lower in patients with HCV genotype 1 who received short course of treatment.