Response predictors and clinical benefits of hepatitis C retreatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in HIV/HCV coinfection

Mario Peribañez-Gonzalez, Mariliza Henrique da Silva, Fernando Crivelenti Vilar, Ana Catharina Seixas-Santos Nastri, Paulo Abrão Ferreira, Roberto Focaccia, Maria Cássia Mendes Correa
Annals of Hepatology 2013, 12 (2): 228-35

BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C is a leading cause of mortality among HIV-infected individuals. Therefore, eradication of HCV in this population is a priority. There are scarce data regarding retreatment efficacy of HIV/ HCV coinfected patients. The aim of our study was to evaluate efficacy, predictors of response, and long term clinical benefits of sustained virological response (SVR) after hepatitis C retreatment in a population of HIV/HCV coinfected patients.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We evaluated efficacy, safety, and clinical benefits of peginterferon(alfa-2a or alfa-2b) and ribavirin in a restrospective, observational, multicentric study, including 47 HIV/HCV coinfected patients, non-responders to previous treatment with conventional interferon alfa-2a and ribavirin. The primary endpoint of efficacy was SVR, defined as undetectable viral load 24 weeks after end of treatment. Death, liver disease progression, CD4 counts, and AIDS defining illness were the endpoints to access clinical benefits of treatment response.

RESULTS: In our analysis, 31.9% patients reached SVR. Genotypes 2/3 had a significant better SVR (66.7%) compared to genotypes 1/4 (33.3%) (p = 0.022). During follow-up, deaths (6.89%) and hepatic decompensation (28.6%) occurred only in the nonresponder group, while there were no cases of death or hepatic decompensation among the responder group(p = 0.037).

CONCLUSION: Nearly one third of patients (mainly those with genotypes 2/3) reached SVR after hepatitis C retreatment in this group of HIV/HCV coinfected patients. SVR was protective against hepatic decompensation and death in a two-year follow-up period. Retreatment may be an effective and safe way to eradicate HCV until new anti-HCV drugs become available to this group of patients.

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