Viral kinetics and duration of hepatitis C therapy

Paul Kwo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Treatment for hepatitis C is aimed at eliminating the virus and thus preventing the development of cirrhosis. The effectiveness of antiviral therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin is based upon inhibition of viral replication and successful viral clearance while maintaining minimal toxicity. The treatment of hepatitis C has evolved to a responseguided paradigm based on viral kinetic response. Using response-guided therapy, duration of therapy as short as 12-16 weeks may be adequate for those with genotypes 2 or 3, and 24 weeks may be sufficient for those with genotype 1 and low viral load who achieve rapid virologic response. On the other hand, extension of therapy beyond 48 weeks may be beneficial for those with genotype 1 and slow response or in the setting of high pretreatment viral load who do not achieve rapid virologic response by reducing relapse. As new viral kinetic data emerge with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, the tailoring of HCV treatment will allow shorter durations of therapy in some, and a greater chance of sustained response in others treated for longer durations. These paradigms will require further refinement in the era of direct-acting antiviral therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Hepatitis Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010


  • Hepatitis C
  • Interferon
  • Response-guided therapy
  • Ribavirin
  • Viral kinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Virology

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