Insulin resistance undermines the advantages of IL28B polymorphism in the pegylated interferon alpha-2b and ribavirin treatment of chronic hepatitis C patients with genotype 1

Eiichi Ogawa, Norihiro Furusyo, Masayuki Murata, Hiroaki Ikezaki, Takeshi Ihara, Takeo Hayashi, Kazuhiro Toyoda, Hiroaki Taniai, Kyoko Okada, Mosaburo Kainuma, Jun Hayashi
Journal of Hepatology 2012, 57 (3): 534-40

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Recent studies have suggested that insulin resistance exerts a strong influence on chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We analyzed pretreatment factors useful for predicting sustained virological response (SVR), especially interleukin (IL) 28B polymorphism and Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR).

METHODS: This cohort study consisted of 328 chronic hepatitis C patients with HCV genotype 1 who were treated for 48 weeks with pegylated interferon (PegIFN) α-2b and ribavirin (RBV). Genotyping of the polymorphisms in the IL28B gene region (rs8099917) on chromosome 19 was performed on DNA collected from each patient.

RESULTS: No significant difference in IL28B genotype distribution was found according to HOMA-IR. Multivariate analysis identified the IL28B TT genotype (OR=5.97, 95% CI 2.15-16.55, p=0.0006) and the baseline HOMA-IR (OR=0.65, 95% CI 0.48-0.87, p=0.0044) as significant, independent pretreatment predictors of SVR. Receiver operating characteristic analyses to determine the optimal threshold values of HOMA-IR for predicting SVR showed that the areas under the curve (AUC) were high for both IL28B TT (AUC=0.774, HOMA-IR cut-off value: 2.45) and IL28B TG/GG genotypes (AUC=0.772, HOMA-IR cut-off value: 1.55).

CONCLUSIONS: For HCV genotype 1, both IL28B and baseline HOMA-IR are independent pretreatment predictors of SVR in patients treated with PegIFNα-2b and RBV. Insulin resistance undermines the advantages of IL28B polymorphism to obtain SVR.

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