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Autoantibodies in children with chronic hepatitis B undergoing interferon therapy.

Irma Kacprzak-Bergman, Izabela Zaleska, Jarosław Gruszka, Ernest Kuchar

Med Sci Monit 2002; 8(12): CR821-824

ID: 4805

BACKGROUND: The occurrence of various side effects in patients treated with interferon alpha has attracted more attention to the manifestation of autoantibodies. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the side effects of interferon in children suffering from chronic hepatitis B by detecting six autoantibodies. MATERIAL/METHODS: Autoantibodies were examined in 76 children (55 boys and 21 girls) aged 2-16 years, treated with interferon-alpha 3 MU 3 times weekly for 20 weeks. They were tested before treatment (exam I) and after its conclusion (exam II). SMAs were determined by indirect immunofluorescence (Euroimmuno reagents), while ANA, AMA M2, GPC, TPO and ATG were measured by EIA (Biomedica reagents). RESULTS: No statistically significant differences were found between the total number of patients with autoantibodies in examination I and examination II. A comparison of the frequency of presence or absence of autoantibodies in the same patients in exams I and II showed significantly more frequent disappearance of GPC in exam II than appearance (p<0.00005). This was also observed in the case of TPO (p=0.320). In relation to ANA, SMA, AMA M2 and ATG these differences were not significant. CONCLUSIONS: INF-alpha does not induce autoantibody formation in children with chronic hepatitis B. Our results suggest that IFN-alpha may inhibit the formation of some autoantibodies.

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