Treatment of dialysis patients with chronic hepatitis C using pegylated interferon and low-dose ribavirin

D. Carriero, Fabrizio Fabrizi, A. J. Uriel, J. Park, P. Martin, D. T. Dieterich

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59 Scopus citations


Background: No safe and effective therapy exists for chronic hepatitis C in dialysis patients. Available data on the antiviral treatment of hepatitis C in dialysis population is mostly based on standard interferon monotherapy. Objectives: We conducted a prospective, cohort trial with combined therapy (pegy1ated-interferon-alpha-2a (135 mcg/week) plus low dose ribavirin (200 mg/day)) for chronic hepatitis C in 15 patients undergoing long-term dialysis. Twelve patients had HCV genotype 1a/1b, three were co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HM, and two had compensated cirrhosis. End-points were sustained viral response and adverse effects. Results: Sustained virological response was obtained in four patients (including two with HCV genotype 1); the SVR rate was 28.6% (4/14), on an intention-to-treat analysis. One subject with SVR had compensated cirrhosis. All HIV co-infected patients had well controlled HIV and one of them (33%) reached SVR. Seven (50%) of the 14 patients were non-responders, two of which relapsed after discontinuation of therapy. Drop-out rate was 71.4% (10/14). The most frequent side-effect was anemia, which required ribovirin discontinuation in three patients; seven (47%) patients received blood transfusions. Two patients died (week 4 and 14) of causes related to cardiovascular disease, which was frequent in our cohort. Two subjects were hospitalized and discontinued therapy (week 1, and 27). Conclusions: Results from this study showed that about one-third of HD patients achieved sustained virological response with pegylated-interferon-alpha-2a plus low-dose ribavinin; however, tolerance to antiviral treatment was unsatisfactory. Well-controlled HIV infection should not be a contraindication to HCV therapy in dialysis patients. Prospective, controlled clinical trials of combined antiviral therapy targeted at HCV in chronic kidney disease population are indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Dialysis
  • Hepatitis C
  • Pegylated interferon
  • Ribavirin


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