Peginterferon plus ribavirin (peg-IFN/RBV) is still the standard of care for treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in many countries. Given the high toxicity of this regimen, our study aimed to develop a prediction tool that can identify which patients are unlikely to benefit from peg-IFN/RBV and could thus postpone treatment in favor of new-generation direct-acting antivirals.
Materials and methods
Binary regression was performed using demographic, clinical, and laboratory covariates and sustained virological response (SVR) outcomes from a prospective cohort of individuals referred for therapy from 2003 to 2008 in a public HCV treatment center in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Of the 743 participants analyzed, 489 completed 48 weeks of treatment (65.8%). A total of 202 of those who completed peg-IFN/RBV therapy achieved SVR (27.2% responders), 196 did not (26.4%), and 91 had missing viral load (VL) at week 72 (12.2% loss to follow-up). The remainder discontinued therapy (n = 254 [34.2%]), 78 (30.7%) doing so due to adverse effects. Baseline covariates included in the regression model were sex, age, human immunodeficiency virus, infection status, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, hemoglobin, platelets, serum creatinine, prothrombin time, pretreatment VL, cirrhosis on liver biopsy, and treatment naivety. A predicted SVR of 17.9% had 90.0% sensitivity for detecting true nonresponders. The negative likelihood ratio at a predicted SVR of 17.9% was 0.16, and the negative predictive value was 92.6%.
Easily obtainable variables can identify patients that will likely not benefit from peg-IFN-based therapy. This prediction model might be useful to clinicians.
To our knowledge, this is the only prediction tool that can reliably help clinicians to postpone peg-IFN/RBV therapy for HCV genotype 1 patients.
How to cite this article
Picon RV, Fendt L, Amaral K, Picon PD. Prediction of Sustained Virological Response to Peginterferon-based Therapy for Chronic Hepatitis C: Regression Analysis of a Cohort from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Euroasian J Hepato-Gastroenterol 2017;7(1):27-33.