Wiesław Kryczka, Dorota Zarębska-Michaluk
Med Sci Monit 2003; 9(3): 22-24
Background: We presented the results of treatment in patients with AHC and compared these findings with natural outcome of AHC in untreated patients.
Material/Methods: Ten treated AHC patients (5F/5M, mean age: 35.5 yrs; all HCV-RNA-positive including 9 anti-HCV-positive). Antiviral treatment was started within 3 to 18 (median 9) weeks after the onset of acute hepatitis including eight patients with monotherapy of IFN and two patients with combined (IFN + ribavirin) therapy. Control group: Fifty consecutive untreated AHC patients (26F/24M, mean age: 40.8 yrs; all HCV-RNA-positive, including 29 anti-HCV-positive) without contraindications to treatment with IFN. Results: Only one treated patient presented no response and the other 9 patients presented rapid normalization of serum ALT levels in 4th-6th week of the therapy. In two patients, ALT increased in the course of therapy and after adding ribavirin the treatment was continued up to 48 weeks in total. At the end of treatment point, nine patients showed biochemical and virological response, but one relapsed both in biochemical and virological respect and virological relapse was observed in another one. Finally, sustained response was observed in 7 of 10 (70%) of treated compared with 22 of 50 (44%) untreated patients (p = n.s.). The beneficial effect of antiviral treatment was observed among patients with early anti-HCV seroconversion: 7 of 9 treated patients recovered persistently compared with 8 of 29 untreated (p = 0.021). Conclusions: The antiviral therapy in AHC seems to be effective and should be widely used, especially for individuals with early anti-HCV seroconversion. Ribavirin seems to be helpful for patients, who have not responded to interferon monotherapy
Keywords: acute hepatitis C, treatment, Interferon-alpha, ribavirin