Predictive Factors for Response to Peginterferon-Alpha and Ribavirin Treatment of Chronic HCV Infection in Patients Aged 65 Years and More
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Elderly patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represent an understudied population, and little is known regarding the predictive factors for sustained virological response (SVR) to antiviral therapy in these patients.
To evaluate the efficacy of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin therapy in chronic HCV patients aged 65 years, and identify pre- and on-treatment predictors of SVR.
We studied 57 patients aged ≥65 years who underwent PEG-IFN and ribavirin treatment, evaluating the SVR rate and its association with pre-treatment demographic, clinical, biochemical, and virological parameters. Furthermore, we assessed whether 12-week serum HCV-RNA assessment might predict SVR.
A SVR was obtained in 25 patients (45%). The only pre-treatment predictor of SVR was HCV genotype 2 and 3 (P = 0.02). A positive serum HCV-RNA or a decline in viral load ≤2log10 at week 12 had 100% negative predictive value for SVR. No major liver-related events or deaths occurred during therapy. Treatment was discontinued due to side effects—mainly cardiovascular—in 10 patients (17%).
Pre- and on-treatment virological parameters can be used to identify elderly patients who are more likely to obtain a SVR to standard-of-care antiviral therapy for chronic HCV infection.
KeywordsElderly Hepatitis C virus Pegylated interferon Ribavirin Sustained virological response
Conflict of interest