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Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1642
Picciotto A., Torre F., Brizzolara R., Campo N., Giusto R., Sinelli N., Lantieri B. P., Risso D., Celle G.
Background. Aim of this work was to evaluate the early viral decay induced by a daily therapy with alfa-interferon (IFN) and the presence of any synergistic effects of amantadine and ribavirin.
Methods. Twenty patients with a diagnosis of chronic hepatitis C were randomly assigned to receive a course of treatment with: IFN 3MU daily (6 pts); or IFN 3MU daily plus amantadine 200 mg (7 pts): or IFN 3MU daily plus ribavirin 1-1.2 g (7 pts) for 6 months. Blood samples were drown at baseline, at 6, 12, 24, 30 and 48 hrs after the first dose of IFN; at 3, 7, 15 days and at every month. Serum was separated within two hours from the collection and stored at 80°C until use. Viraemia was evaluated qualitatively by the Cobas Amplicor (cut-off 1.00E+02 copies/ml) (Roche Diagnostics, Monza, Milan, Italy) and quantitatively by the Cobas Amplicor Monitor (cut-off 1.00E+03 copies/ml). The HCV genotype was determined for each patient by Inno-LiPA HCV II (Innogenetics, Ghent, Belgium). Liver function tests were evaluated at baseline, at 7 and 15 days and at every month.
Results. The analysis of the decay curves showed the presence of a three phase decline in the viraemia. At the end of therapy 7 out of the 20 patients (35%) had normal ALT and undetectable HCV-RNA (2 out of 6 in the IFN group: 33.3%, 3 out of 7: 42.8%; 2 out of 7: 28.6%, in the IFN plus amantadine and IFN plus ribavirin groups respectively).
Conclusions. IFN is the major antiviral effector in the early stage of therapy. The observation of the kinetic curves shows a tendency for the ribavirin to induce a slightly steeper slope of decay in the first 48 hrs, while amantadine seems to induce a slightly deeper abatement of circulating viraemia after 48 hrs.