Article Type

Original Study


Objectives This study aimed to investigate the impact of clinical and histopathological changes in liver tissue of responders and nonresponders to standard pegylated interferon (Peg-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) therapy and to determine whether they could predict treatment outcome or not. Background Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major health problem worldwide. Combination therapy of Peg-IFN and RBV has been recognized as a standard treatment for HCV infection. Unfortunately, this standard therapy produces a sustained virological response in only 50% of HCV-infected patients. Clinical and histological findings may play a role in predicting response to standard Peg-IFN/RBV therapy. Patients and methods This retrospective study included 64 patients with chronic HCV who were treated with Peg-IFNa/RBV. According to their response to treatment, they were classified into responders (n = 34) and nonresponders (n = 30). Pretreatment liver biopsies were evaluated histopathologically for necroinflammatory grade and fibrosis stage according to the modified Ishak and Metavir scoring systems for chronic hepatitis. Other pathological findings were also reported. Demographic, laboratory, and histopathological results were subjected to a statistical analysis. Results The current study showed that the age of the patients (P = 0.003), sex (P = 0.027), and serum a-fetoprotein level (P = 0.046) were the parameters that showed a statistically significant difference between responders and nonresponders to interferon therapy. However, the grade of necroinflammation, stage of fibrosis as well as other pathological changes did not show a statistically significant difference between both groups. Conclusion The current study showed that young age, female sex, and the baseline serum level of a-fetoprotein are the parameters that favored response to interferon and RBV therapy in chronic HCV Egyptian patients, whereas histopathological changes played no role in predicting response to treatment.