BACKGROUND: Combination therapy with pegylated interferon (peginterferon) plus ribavirin is associated with several side effects, including neutropenia and infection. AIMS: To evaluate the incidence of neutropenia and infection between all consecutive patients with hepatitis C who were treated in two centers with peginterferon-alfa-2a and peginterferon-alfa-2b, in combination with ribavirin and actively monitored for occurrence of any infection. METHODS: A total of 319 consecutive patients with chronic hepatitis C received once-weekly peginterferon alfa-2b at a weight-adjusted dose (n=162) or peginterferon alfa-2a at a flat dose (n=157), plus ribavirin. RESULTS: Neutropenia was observed in 53 patients overall (17%). There were 73 infections in 73 subjects (23% of the treated population); 4/73 required hospitalization. Infections included respiratory infections (n=23), cellulitis (n=17), dental abscesses (n=13), gastroenteric infections (n=2), and other types of infections (n=18). The incidence of all infections was significantly associated with age, especially over 60 years (p<0.01) but not with neutropenia or type of pegylated interferon. CONCLUSIONS: During the treatment with pegylated interferons and ribavirin, we did not find a correlation between neutropenia and infections. This result provides a support for the notion that current guidelines for pegylated interferons dose reduction in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C for hematologic toxicity could be overly strict.
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|Titolo:||Incidence of neutropenia and infections during combination treatment of chronic hepatitis C with pegylated interferon alfa-2a or alfa-2b plus ribavirin|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|