The currently recommended treatment for Hepatitis C virus infection is pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin, which can be difficult to tolerate.
More information about predicting sustained virologic response may allow more informed treatment decisions to be made.
Dr Lisa Backus and colleagues from California, USA undertook a retrospective observational cohort study.
The research team identified predictors of sustained virologic response to Hepatitis C virus and ribavirin in routine medical practice at 121 Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.
|Sustained virologic response rates was 52% in Hepatitis C virus genotype 2|
The team evaluated 5,944 patients infected with Hepatitis C virus genotypes 1, 2, or 3 who had been treated.
The researchers found that sustained virologic response rates were 20%, 52%, and 43% in Hepatitis C virus genotypes 1, 2, and 3, respectively.
Discontinuation rates for those respective groups were 68%, 34%, and 41%.
The team found that significant predictors of decreased likelihood of genotype 1 patients having a sustained virologic response was clinical liver disease.
African American ethnicity, diabetes, low cholesterol, low hemoglobin, low platelet count, and treatment at a low-volume facility decreased sustained virological response.
A predictor of genotype 1 patients having a sustained virologic response included low-level Hepatitis C virus viremia.
Elevated alanine transaminase quotient, and receiving Hepatitis C virus 2A predicted increased likelihood of having a sustained virologic response.
For genotype 2 patients, the researchers found that increasing body mass index, prior use of interferon, and low platelet count were negative predictors of sustained virologic response.
The research team observed that only low-level Hepatitis C virus viremia was a positive predictor of sustained virologic response.
For genotype 3 patients, only Hepatitis C virus 2A affected the likelihood of a sustained virologic response.
Dr Backus' team concluded, "Among patients for whom Hepatitis C virus treatment is initiated during routine medical care, multiple factors including form of Hepatitis C virus received affect the sustained virologic response rate for genotype 1 patients."
"Few of these factors affect the rate for genotype 2 patients, and even fewer do so for genotype 3 patients."