Interferon-α therapy for individuals with normal serum alanine aminotransferase levels before treatmemt

Etsuro Orito, Masashi Mizokami, Kaoru Suzuki, Ken Ichi Ohba, Tomoyoshi Ohno, Makoto Mizuno, Yoshihiko Iijima, Hiroshi Saito, Akira Nemoto, Nobuo Nukuta

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26 Citations (Scopus)


While interferon (IFN) therapy is approved for patients with chronic hepatitis C infection, the effectiveness of IFN therapy for anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive individuals with normal ALT levels remains poorly understood. Twenty-five individuals (M:F = 9:16; age = 51.8 ± 15.1 years) who showed a normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level (< 30 IU/L) at least 6 months before treatment and were positive for both anti-HCV and serum HCV-RNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were studied. Of these, 16 received IFN therapy for 24 weeks (780 million units total IFN-α2b) and nine were followed for 12 months as controls. The serum HCV-RNA level was determined by bDNA assay and HCV genotype was detected by enzyme immunoassay. All were shown to have chronic hepatitis by liver biopsy. Six (37.5%) of 16 individuals lost serum HCV-RNA by RT-PCR 6 months after cessation of therapy (complete response; CR), while the remaining individuals were defined as non-responders (NR). Of the six individuals in the CR group, five had HCV type 2 infection, compared with none of 10 individuals in the NR group (P < 0.01). There was a trend towards a lower pretreatment viraemia level in the CR group than in the NR group. These data suggest that IFN therapy for individuals with HCV type 2 infection and normal ALT levels was effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-61
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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