Interferon-α-2b and ribavirin for retreatment of chronic hepatitis C

Robert M. Dettmer, John F. Reinus, David J. Clain, Ayse Aytaman, Hulya Levendoglu, Alan A. Bloom, Mary P. Isaacson, Mitchel Spinnell, Douglas Meyer, Viyada Sarabanchong, Yatian Zhang, Reuben J. Garcia-Carrasquillo, David D. Markowitz, Arthur M. Magun, Howard J. Worman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Subjects with chronic hepatitis C who fail treatment with interferon-α are generally divided into two groups: "relapsers" who normalized serum aminotransferase activity and have undetectable viral RNA during treatment and "non-responders" who do not achieve these results. The aim of this study was to examine retreatment of such subjects. Methodology: We studied 117 subjects with chronic hepatitis C who failed treatment with interferon-α, 87 of whom were "non-responders" and 30 "relapsers." Retreatment was with either interferon-α-2b plus ribavirin for 48 weeks or with interferon-α-2b plus placebo for 24 weeks followed by 24 weeks of combined therapy. Results: Sustained response rates, defined as undetectable viral RNA in serum 6 months after retreatment, were 53% in "relapsers" and 10% in "non-responders" (P<0.005). There was no significant difference if ribavirin was given for 24 or 48 weeks. In "non-responders" infected with genotypes other than type 1, 42% achieved a sustained response compared to 5% infected with genotype 1 (P=0.027; odds ratio 7.09). Conclusions: Treatment with interferon-α-2b plus ribavirin is effective in approximately 50% of "relapsers" and "non-responders" infected with non-type 1 genotypes of hepatitis C virus. Thais therapy is only marginally effective in "non-responders" infected with genotype 1a or 1b.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)758-763
Number of pages6
Issue number45
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis C
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Liver
  • Ribavirin
  • Viral hepatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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