Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of this study was to determine the factors that may affect the response to combined therapy of pegyated interferon (PEG-INF) and ribavirin (RBV) in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) Egyptian patients for achieving sustained virological response (SVR), which means negative PCR 12 weeks after end of treatment. Background HCV is a global disease whose morbidity and mortality are increasing. HCV is a single-stranded RNA virus classified in the genus hepacivirus of the flaviviridae family, consisting out of 9600 nucleotides and stored inside the nucleocapsid. Six major HCV genotypes and over 70 subtypes have been identified. HCV-G4 is the most common genotype in Egypt. Patient and methods This study was carried out on 500 naive HCV-infected Egyptian patients attending Kafr El-Sheikh Liver Research Center for receiving combined antiviral therapy (PEG-INF and RBV) for 48 weeks. They were divided into two groups: group I, including 368 patients who had negative PCR 24 weeks after end of therapy (SVR); and group II, including 132 patients who had positive PCR 24 weeks after end of therapy (non-SVR). Results We found that many factors either related to the virus as viral load or related to the host as normal serum albumin level, lower levels of serum transaminases, low bilharzial titre level, and low grade of liver fibrosis could be a good predictors of response to antiviral therapy in chronic HCV Egyptian patients achieving SVR. Conclusion Normal serum albumin, lower level of serum transaminases, low bilharzial titre, low grade of liver fibrosis, and low baseline serum viral load all are good predictors for achieving SVR in chronic HCV Egyptian patients treated with combined PEG-INF and RBV therapy.