There is a lack of published data examining hepatitis C treatment practices in different care settings.
In this study, researchers from the United States described treatment practices for patients with hepatitis C virus infection in clinical practice. They also examined the clinical outcomes in patients treated with interferon alpha-2b/ribavirin combination therapy in academic, private, and Veterans' Affairs treatment centers.
The team retrospectively evaluated hepatitis C virus treatment practices in 231 patients receiving interferon alpha-2b, between 1997 and 2001.
The researchers identified differences in both treatment practice and use of diagnostic procedures.
They found that genotype testing was under-utilized in non-academic centers.
|Genotype testing is under-utilized in non-academic centers.|
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
However, liver biopsies were performed less often in private centers.
The team determined that end-of-treatment viral response was lower than that found in published trial data.
Multivariate analysis revealed genotype 1 as the single significant predictor of treatment failure.
Dr Jensen's team concluded, "Outside of the academic setting, there is significantly less diagnostic work-up performed prior to the initiation of hepatitis C virus therapy".
"This suggests a need for a standardization of care across treatment settings".