Aim The purpose of this work was to study efficiency of the combined antiviral therapy in children with chronic hepatitis C in Republic of Moldova.
Methods In compliance with the National Program (2007–2016) in paediatric hepatology department 35 children, aged 4–17 years, were treated with pegylated interferon alpha 2b (60 mcg/m2/week) plus ribavirin in a dose of 15 mg/kg/day; therapy length of 24 weeks for genotype 2 and 3 or 48 weeks for genotype 1b. The diagnosis was confirmed by clinical, biochemical, immunological modification, including degree of viremia (ARN VHC PCR Real Time ROTOR Gene6000 CORBETT RESEARCH) and transient elastometry (Fibroscan) for detecting liver fibrosis.
Results Chronic hepatitis C (genotype 1b – 31, genotype 2–1, genotype 3a in 3 children) was characterised by the minimal clinical signs, low biochemical activity in 60% of cases. Low virus loading ( <600000 ui/ml) and a minimum degree of fibrosis of F0-F2 was identified in 29 of 35 children. 33 patients finished treatment. 2 children discontinued treatment because of the expressed headaches and in connexion with immigration. In the course of treatment by pegylated interferon and ribavirin most common of the side effects were pyrexia, headache, neutropenia, fatigue, anorexia, injection site erythema and vomiting.
Conclusions Combined antiviral therapy of chronic hepatitis C in children was safe. This treatment program needs an individual approach and it was effective SRV in 73% cases, inclusive in genotype 1b – 69%, in genotypes 2 and 3a – in 100%.
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