Background & Aims: This multi-center study aimed to prospectively evaluate the safety and efficacy of a genotype-based Pegylated Interferon alfa-2a/Ribavirin therapy in treatment-naïve hepatitis C virus (HCV), positive HCV serology, and quantifiable HCV RNA, infected children. Methods: Eighteen children with genotypes 2 and 3 patients (group A) were assigned to medication for 24 weeks, and 47 children with genotypes 1, 4, 5 and 6 patients (group B) for 48 weeks. Results: Early response at week 12 was observed in 83% of group A patients and in 57% of group B patients (p <0.05). End of treatment response was achieved in 94% of patients in group A and in 57% in group B (p <0.001). Sustained virologic response was maintained in 89% of patients in group A and in 57% of patients in group B (p <0.01). Ten patients stopped prematurely the treatment, 2 for serious adverse event (acute hepatitis and thyrotoxicosis), and 8 because of no virologic response at week 24. Peginterferon alfa-2a and Ribavirin dose was adjusted in 15 patients (23%), 11 for neutropenia (17%), and 3 patients (5%), for anemia, respectively. Treatment-related adverse events included fever and flu-like symptoms (54%), irritability-depression-change of mood (34%), vomiting (23%), abdominal pain (38%), loss of appetite (21.5%) and dermatitis (29%). No influence on height growth was observed. Conclusions: Pegylated inteferon alfa-2a and Ribavirin treatment allowed to achieve SVR in 57% of pediatric patients with genotypes 1, 4, 5 and 6, and in 94% of genotypes 2 and 3. These results show an improved SVR as compared to reference series in adults with similar regimen.
- Hepatitis C
Field of Science*
- 3.2 Clinical medicine
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database