Probability of non-response during interferon therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C

Roberto Testa, Edoardo Giannini, Antonino Picciotto, Domenico Risso, Sergio Caglieris, Alberto Fasoli, Pasquale Bruno Lantieri, Gian Carlo Icardi, Gabriella Lapertosa, Guido Celle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND/AIMS: About 50% of patients with chronic hepatitis C do not respond to interferon therapy and this failure is expensive. The aim of this study was to identify possible predictive factors of biochemical non-response during interferon therapy among biochemical, virological (HCV genotype), histological (Knodell's score) and pharmacokinetic (monoethyylglycinexylidide formation test) pretreatment parameters. METHODOLOGY: Our study included 60 patients with chronic hepatitis C undergoing a course of Interferon therapy. Patients whose serum ALT levels were normal at the 3rd month of therapy and remained so until the end of treatment were regarded as responders. RESULTS: In univariate analysis, only the γ-glutamyltransferase (γ-GT) and the γ-GT/alanine aminotranferase ratio were significantly higher in non-responder patients. Multivariate logistic analysis showed that high γ-GT levels, high histological activity index, low monoethylglycinexylidide formation rate and viral genotype 1 were the best combination for the identification of non-responder patients (16.7% error rate). By adding alanine aminotranferase modification at the 1st month of therapy the probability error was reduced to 5%. CONCLUSIONS: These results show that the combination of biochemical, histological, virological and pharmacokinetic pre-treatment variables, associated with alanine aminotranferase modification at the 1st month of therapy, can predict non-response to interferon and allow therapeutic modifications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1928-1936
Number of pages9
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Chronic hepatitis C
  • Gamma-glutamyltransferase
  • Hepatitis C virus genotype
  • Interferon therapy
  • Monoethylglycinexylidide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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