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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo
On-line version ISSN 1678-9946
BASSIT, Leda et al. Chronic hepatitis C virus infections in Brazilian patients: association with genotypes, clinical parameters and response to long term alpha interferon therapy. Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo [online]. 1999, vol.41, n.3, pp. 183-189. ISSN 1678-9946. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-46651999000300010.
The present study assessed the clinical significance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes and their influence on response to long term recombinant-interferon-alpha (r-IFN-a) therapy in Brazilian patients. One hundred and thirty samples from patients previously genotyped for the HCV and with histologically confirmed chronic hepatitis C (CH-C) were evaluated for clinical and epidemiological parameters (sex, age, time of HCV infection and transmission routes). No difference in disease activity, sex, age or mode and time of transmission were seen among patients infected with HCV types 1, 2 or 3. One hundred and thirteen of them were treated with 3 million units of r-IFN-a, 3 times a week for 12 months. Initial response (IR) was significantly better in patients with genotype 2 (100%) and 3 (46%) infections than in patients with genotype 1 (29%) (p < 0.005). Among subtypes, difference in IR was observed between 1b and 2 (p < 0.005), and between 1b and 3a (p < 0.05). Sustained response (SR) was observed in 12% for (sub)type 1a, 13% for 1b, 19% for 3a, and 40% for type 2; significant differences were found between 1b and 2 (p < 0.001), and between 1b and 3a (p < 0.05). Moreover, presence of cirrhosis was significantly associated with non response and response with relapse (p < 0.05). In conclusion, non-1 HCV genotype and lack of histological diagnosis of cirrhosis were the only baseline features associated with sustained response to treatment. These data indicate that HCV genotyping may have prognostic relevance in the responsiveness to r-IFN-a therapy in Brazilian patients with chronic HCV infection, as seen in other reports worldwide.
Keywords : Brazilian patients; Genotypes; HCV; IFN therapy; Sustained response.