J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2004 Aug;14(8):466-9
Department of Virology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Rawalpindi.
Objective: To evaluate the virological response to treatment with interferon and ribavirin in patients with hepatitis C related liver disease.
Design: A descriptive study.
Place And Duration Of Study: January to September 2002 at Virology Department, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Rawalpindi.
Material And Methods: Two hundred seventy-nine patients were included in the study. These patients had taken interferon and ribavirin treatment for HCV related chronic hepatitis, and were referred to AFIP for HCV RNA testing by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) between January 2002 and September 2002. Out of 279 cases, 229 had taken the treatment for 06 or 12 months and were tested for end-of-treatment response (ETR). Fifty patients had completed their treatment regimens of 6 or 12 months treatment, at least 24 weeks before their PCR test and were having follow-up testing for sustained viral response (SVR). The sera of these patients were tested for HCV RNA by PCR, using a commercial kit of Amplicor (Roche) for qualitative detection of HCV RNA.
Results: Out of 229 cases tested for end-of-treatment response, 198 (86.5%) had no detectable HCV RNA (responders) and 31(13.5%) were PCR positive (non-responders). Thirty-eight out of 50 cases, tested for a sustained viral response, had a negative result for HCV PCR thus showing sustained response rate of 76%.
Conclusion: The viral remission/response to interferon and ribavirin combination therapy in our patients was better than that quoted in other regions.