EFFICACY OF INTERFERON THERAPY IN PATIENTS OF CHRONIC HEPATITIS B VIRAL INFECTION TREATED AT MH RAWALPINDI
The Professional Medical Journal
. Background: The consequences of acute and chronic HBV infection are major public healthproblems. These infections may progress to cirrhosis, liver failure, and Hepatocellular carcinoma Treatment of chronicreplicative hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is aimed at stopping viral replication and preventing the development ofchronic liver disease. Objective: To determine the efficacy of Interferon therapy in patients of chronic Hepatitis Btreated at MH Rawalpindi, by comparison of PCR for HBV DNA
... before and after Interferon therapy. Study Design:Quasi-experimental study. Place and duration of study: Military Hospital, Rawalpindi from July 2003 to December2005. Subjects and Methods: The efficacy of a 4-month course of subcutaneously administered human recombinantinterferon Alfa was studied. A total of 50 patients of proven chronic viral hepatitis B with presence of hepatitis B surfaceantigen and hepatitis B virus DNA (HBV DNA) in the serum were enrolled over the span of 30 months. All patients weretreated with 5 mega units of recombinant interferon alfa-2b subcutaneously once daily for 4 months. PCR for HBV DNAwas performed at the end of fourth month in treated patients as a predictor of response to interferon therapy. Results:The treatment was well tolerated, only in three patients treatment was ceased due to severe depression while noneof the other patient required dosage reduction or cessation of treatment because of side effects. In 22 treated persons(44.0%) PCR for HBV DNA becomes negative showed response to treatment. This finding is statistically significant(p less than 0.05). Conclusion: Interferon Alfa has significant efficacy in chronic Hepatitis B. Patients of chronicHepatitis B in whom Interferon therapy is not contraindicated should be treated with Interferon Alfa to avoid long termcomplication of infection.