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Treatment of Acute Hepatitis C with Interferon Alfa-2b

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  • claudine intexas
    NATAP - www.natap.org ... Treatment of Acute Hepatitis C with Interferon Alfa-2b (early release from NEJM of article in Oct 1 not yet released Journal edition)
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2001
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      NATAP - www.natap.org
      ---------------------------------

      Treatment of Acute Hepatitis C with Interferon Alfa-2b

      (early release from NEJM of article in Oct 1 not yet
      released Journal
      edition)

      At the Spring 2001 DDW Conference, 2 studies of
      treating patients
      during
      acute HCV were reported, one of which was this same
      German study. Here
      is the
      link to the report on those studies:
      <A HREF="http://www.natap.org/2001/ddw/ddw_6.htm">
      http://www.natap.org/2001/ddw/ddw_6.htm</A>

      Elmar Jaeckel, M.D., Markus Cornberg, M.D., Heiner
      Wedemeyer, M.D.,
      Teresa
      Santantonio, M.D., Julika Mayer, M.D., Myrga Zankel,
      D.V.M., Giuseppe
      Pastore, M.D., Manfred Dietrich, M.D., Christian
      Trautwein, M.D.,
      Michael P.
      Manns, M.D., and the German Acute Hepatitis C Therapy
      Group

      ABSTRACT

      (Notice: Because of its potential clinical
      implications, this article
      is
      being published early [on October 1, 2001]. It will
      appear in the
      November 15
      issue of the Journal. Click on "PDF of this article"
      for the full
      text.)

      Background In people who are infected with the
      hepatitis C virus (HCV)
      chronic infection often develops and is difficult to
      eradicate. We
      sought to
      determine whether treatment during the acute phase
      could prevent the
      development of chronic infection.

      Methods- Between 1998 and 2001, we identified 44
      patients throughout
      Germany
      who had acute hepatitis C. Patients received 5 million
      U of interferon
      alfa-2b subcutaneously daily for 4 weeks and then
      three times per week
      for
      another 20 weeks. Serum HCV RNA levels were measured
      before and during
      therapy and 24 weeks after the end of therapy.

      Results- The mean age of the 44 patients was 36 years;
      25 were women.
      Nine
      became infected with HCV through intravenous drug use,
      14 through a
      needle-stick injury, 7 through medical procedures, and
      10 through
      sexual
      contact; the mode of infection could not be determined
      in 4. The
      average time
      from infection to the first signs or symptoms of
      hepatitis was 54 days,
      and
      the average time from infection until the start of
      therapy was 89 days.
      At
      the end of both therapy and follow-up, 42 of the 43
      patients who have
      completed follow-up (98 percent) had undetectable
      levels of HCV RNA in
      serum
      and normal serum alanine aminotransferase levels.
      Levels of HCV RNA
      became
      undetectable after an average of 3.2 weeks of
      treatment. Therapy was
      well
      tolerated in all but one patient, who stopped therapy
      after 12 weeks
      because
      of side effects.

      Conclusions- Treatment of acute hepatitis C with
      interferon alfa-2b
      prevents
      chronic infection.


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