Background Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major health problem in the western world. Current treatment with interferon (IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) is able to produce a sustained virological response in approximately 50% of patients with genotype-1. Telaprevir (TPV) represents a change in the treatment of HCV.
Purpose To describe the proportion of patients who had undetectable plasma HCV-RNA at week 4 and 12 of treatment, the haemoglobin and platelets level during treatment and the most frequently reported adverse events.
Materials and Methods We conducted a retrospective study of all patients who started triple therapy in 2012. We collected demographics (age and sex), genotype, pre-treatment response, haemoglobin, platelets, plasma HCV-RNA at weeks 0, 4 and 12 and reported adverse events.
Results Since January 2012, 9 patients began treatment with RBV+IFN+TPV with a mean of age of 49 (SD:6.2). 89% were male. Genotype-1a was predominant (95%).
Five patients were previous non-responders, three were relapsers and one was missing.
The mean haemoglobin at weeks 0, 4 and 12 was 15.5 (SD:1.2), 13.0 (SD:1.7), and 11.3.(SD:1.9) mg/dl respectively and the mean platelets at week 0, 4 and 12 were 217 (SD:142.4), 132 (SD:46.2) and 121 (SD:33.9) respectively. The mean of plasma HCV-RNA at the beginning was log 6.55 (SD:0.39). At week 4, 8 patients (88.9%) had undetectable plasma HCV-RNA and 1 had to discontinue treatment (HCV-RNA: log5.63). At week 12, 7 patients had undetectable plasma HCV-RNA. One patient had to discontinue treatment due to severe anaemia.
The most frequent adverse event was anaemia (89%); in two cases it was even necessary to administer erythropoietin. Other adverse events were rash, fatigue and haemorrhoids.
Conclusions Our rate of undetectable plasma HCV-RNA at week 4 is high (89%) which allowed TPV to be suspended at week 12 and RBV+IFN treatment to be shortened to 24 weeks.
Anaemia was the major serious adverse event reported.
No conflict of interest.
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