The optimal duration of therapy for pegylated interferon combined with ribavirin in recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) following liver transplantation is not known.
In this study, researchers from Miami, Florida, compared reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) in the liver tissue with serum HCV RNA detection, for prediction of sustained virological response (SVR).
|All patients had nondetectable HCV RNA by PCR serum testing.|
All patients received combination pegylated alpha-2b interferon (1.5 mcg per kg) and ribavirin (200 to 600mg per d) therapy for at least 48 weeks. These patients were found to have nondetectable HCV RNA by PCR serum testing at the end of therapy.
The team defined SVR as nondetectable serum HCV RNA at 6 months post treatment withdrawal.
There were 10 liver transplant recipients were included in the study.
The team found that in 7 patients HCV RNA in the liver tissue was found to be positive by RT-PCR, while 3 patients had nondetectable HCV RNA in their liver.
The researchers determined that SVR was attained in all 3 patients who were hepatic tissue HCV PCR negative after 12 months of combination therapy.
Dr Guy Neff and colleagues concluded, "Direct detection of HCV RNA by RT-PCR of liver tissue appears to more effectively predict SVR following pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy than the conventional use of serum".