Amir S. Butt, MD



Therapeutic Strategies for Hepatitis C

August 01, 2005

Combination therapy with pegylated interferon alfa-2a or alfa-2b and ribavirin (RBV) results in a greater rate of sustained virologic response (SVR) than that seen with standard interferon alone. Patients infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 1 require higher doses of RBV and a longer duration of therapy than do patients infected with genotype 2 or 3. Closely monitor patients for neuropsychiatric effects, especially depression, and hematologic and other toxicities. Because of the teratogenicity of RBV, strict birth control must be used throughout the course of treatment and for 6 months afterwards. Patients who have not demonstrated a 100-fold reduction in viral load after 12 weeks of therapy are unlikely to achieve SVR; discontinuation of therapy may be considered.

Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infections

August 01, 2005

HCV is the most common cause of chronic liver disease and the leading indication for liver transplantation in the United States. It is responsible for 8000 to 10,000 deaths annually. In this article, we review the principal diagnostic guidelines for hepatitis C.