Dr Dan Rudin and colleagues from Canada compared interferon monotherapy with its combination with lamivudine for Hepatitis B e antigen-positive Hepatitis B treatment.
The team reported that 2 independent researchers evaluated pertinent randomized controlled trials for methodological quality and heterogeneity.
Rates of sustained virological and biochemical responses, and Hepatitis B e antigen clearance and seroconversion were used as primary efficacy measures.
|Pegylated interferon monotherapy is likely to be equally or more efficacious|
Quantitative meta-analyses were conducted to assess differences between groups for conventional and pegylated interferon, and overall.
The researchers observed greater sustained virological, biochemical and seroconversion rates with addition of lamivudine to conventional treatment.
The team found no significant affect on Hepatitis B e antigen clearance rates with combination therapy.
Excluding virological response, pegylated interferon monotherapy, and conventional interferon with lamivudine combination therapy were similarly efficacious.
The researchers assessed pegylated interferon monotherapy in harder to treat patients, as evidenced by a superior virological response with conventional therapy.
Dr Rudin's team concluded, "In comparable populations, pegylated interferon monotherapy is likely to be equally or more efficacious than conventional interferon and lamivudine combination therapy."
"Thus pegylated interferon monotherapy constitutes the treatment of choice, with no added benefit with lamivudine addition."
"However, when conventional interferon is used, its combination with lamivudine should be considered."