Background and aim: The current standard of care in chronic HCV genotype 1 hepatitis is the combination of pegylated interferon (PegIFN) with ribavirin for 48 weeks. The aim of our paper was to verify if there are significant differences regarding the sustained virologic response (SVR) in patients treated with PegIFN alfa-2a vs. those treated PegIFN alfa-2b, both in combination with ribavirin.

We performed a retrospective study on 507 patients with chronic viral C hepatitis treated with PegIFN alpha-2a 180 µg/kg/week or PegIFN alpha-2b 1.5 µg/kg/week plus ribavirin in the recommended doses according to weight, following the current treatment guidelines. We evaluated the SVR defined as PCR RNA-HCV undetectable 24 weeks after the end of treatment.

Results: There were no differences regarding the baseline characteristics among the subgroups of patients treated with PegIFN alpha-2a or PegIFN alpha-2b concerning the pretreatment viral load (p=0.2445), the severity of fibrosis (p=0.2403), the mean age of the patients (p=0.9597) and the women/men ratio (p=0.2087). The SVR rates in patients treated with PegIFN alpha-2a were similar to those in patients treated with PegIFN alpha-2b: 208/338 (61.5%) vs. 94/169 (55.6%) (p=0.2129).

Conclusion: Sustained virologic response rates were similar in HCV genotype 1 patients treated with PegIFN alpha-2a and with Peg-IFN alpha-2b.



HCV hepatitis, sustained virologic response, early virologic response, pegylated interferon, ribavirin, genotype 1 HCV