Durability of sustained response shown in paediatric patients with chronic hepatitis C who were treated with interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin

D. A. Kelly, B. Haber, R. P. González-Peralta, K. F. Murray, M. M. Jonas, J. P. Molleston, M. R. Narkewicz, F. R. Sinatra, T. Lang, A. Lachaux, S. Wirth, M. Shelton, H. S. Te, H. Pollack, W. Deng, S. Noviello, J. K. Albrecht

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Summary. Long-term studies in adults indicate that sustained virologic response (SVR) after combination treatment for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) predicts long-term clearance. Although peginterferon plus ribavirin is now standard care for children with CHC, long-term follow-up studies are not yet available. This study evaluated durability of virologic response over 5 years in children previously treated with interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin (IFN/R). Ninety-seven of 147 children with CHC, who were treated with IFN/R and completed the 6-month follow-up in two previous clinical trials, participated in this long-term follow-up study. All were assessed annually for up to 5 years; patients with SVR were assessed for durability of virologic response. Children with SVR (n = 56) and those with detectable hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA 24-week post-treatment (n = 41) were followed for a median of 284 weeks. Overall, 70% (68/97) of patients completed the 5-year follow-up. One patient with genotype 1a CHC had SVR and relapsed at year 1 of follow-up with the same genotype. Kaplan-Meier estimate for sustained response at 5 years was 98% (95% CI: 95%, 100%). Six patients with low-positive HCV RNA levels (n = 4) or missing HCV RNA at the 24-week follow-up visit (n = 2) in the initial treatment studies had virologic response during this long-term follow-up study. Linear growth rate was impaired during treatment with rapid increases in the immediate 6 months post-treatment. Mean height percentile at the end of the 5-year follow-up was slightly less than the mean pretreatment height percentile. Five patients experienced serious adverse events; none related to study drug exposure. SVR after IFN/R predicts long-term clearance of HCV in paediatric patients; growth normalized in the majority of children during the long-term follow-up. Similar long-term results could be expected after peginterferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Viral Hepatitis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012



  • chronic hepatitis C
  • interferon and ribavirin
  • long-term virologic response
  • paediatric patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

Cite this

Kelly, D. A., Haber, B., González-Peralta, R. P., Murray, K. F., Jonas, M. M., Molleston, J. P., Narkewicz, M. R., Sinatra, F. R., Lang, T., Lachaux, A., Wirth, S., Shelton, M., Te, H. S., Pollack, H., Deng, W., Noviello, S., & Albrecht, J. K. (2012). Durability of sustained response shown in paediatric patients with chronic hepatitis C who were treated with interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin. Journal of Viral Hepatitis, 19(4), 263-270. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2893.2011.01544.x