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Influence of Ribavirin Serum Levels on Outcome of Antiviral Treatment and Anemia in Hepatitis C Virus Infection


Kuntzen, Thomas; Kuhn, Sereina; Kuntzen, Daniela; Seifert, Burkhardt; Müllhaupt, Beat; Geier, Andreas (2016). Influence of Ribavirin Serum Levels on Outcome of Antiviral Treatment and Anemia in Hepatitis C Virus Infection. PLoS ONE, 11(7):e0158512.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Ribavirin blood levels vary considerably between patients with standard weight-based dosing. Their impact on sustained virological response (SVR) with pegylated interferon and ribavirin is controversial, but has mostly been studied before the IL28b gene polymorphism as a possible confounder was discovered.
METHODS
The impact of serum ribavirin trough levels at week 4, at the end of treatment and of mean levels across the entire antiviral treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin on relapse, SVR rates and anemia was retrospectively studied by univariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses in 214 patients with HCV genotype 1-4 infection, including 88 patients with available IL28b genotyping.
RESULTS
Mean ribavirin levels varied between 0.68-5.65 mg/l and significantly differed between patients with or without SVR. By multivariable regression including age, sex, HCV viral load, HCV genotype, liver fibrosis stage, prior treatments, immunosuppression and IL28b genotype, ribavirin levels consistently displayed significant influence on SVR and relapse without indication for a specific importance of higher concentrations early or late in the treatment course. Although hemoglobin decline was on average more pronounced in patients with higher ribavirin levels, hemoglobin remained relatively stable in a significant proportion of these, indicating that ribavirin levels alone are insufficient to predict anemia.
CONCLUSION
While data are scarce to draw conclusions applicable for modern DAA therapies, these results support ribavirin treatment based on serum levels instead of purely weight-based dosing in combination with pegylated interferon.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Ribavirin blood levels vary considerably between patients with standard weight-based dosing. Their impact on sustained virological response (SVR) with pegylated interferon and ribavirin is controversial, but has mostly been studied before the IL28b gene polymorphism as a possible confounder was discovered.
METHODS
The impact of serum ribavirin trough levels at week 4, at the end of treatment and of mean levels across the entire antiviral treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin on relapse, SVR rates and anemia was retrospectively studied by univariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses in 214 patients with HCV genotype 1-4 infection, including 88 patients with available IL28b genotyping.
RESULTS
Mean ribavirin levels varied between 0.68-5.65 mg/l and significantly differed between patients with or without SVR. By multivariable regression including age, sex, HCV viral load, HCV genotype, liver fibrosis stage, prior treatments, immunosuppression and IL28b genotype, ribavirin levels consistently displayed significant influence on SVR and relapse without indication for a specific importance of higher concentrations early or late in the treatment course. Although hemoglobin decline was on average more pronounced in patients with higher ribavirin levels, hemoglobin remained relatively stable in a significant proportion of these, indicating that ribavirin levels alone are insufficient to predict anemia.
CONCLUSION
While data are scarce to draw conclusions applicable for modern DAA therapies, these results support ribavirin treatment based on serum levels instead of purely weight-based dosing in combination with pegylated interferon.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:18 Jul 2016 12:13
Last Modified:12 Sep 2017 20:45
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0158512
PubMed ID:27388623

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