Pegylated interferon-based treatment in patients with advanced liver disease due to chronic delta hepatitis
AuthorKabacam, G.; Dalekos, G. N.; Cakaloglu, Y.; Zachou, K.; Bock, T.; Erhardt, A.; Zeuzem, S.; Tabak, F.; Yalcin, K.; Bozdayi, A. M.; Dienes, H. P.; Bozkaya, H.; Manns, M.; Wedemeyer, H.; Yurdaydin, C.
Background/aims: The safety and efficacy of interferons in advanced delta hepatitis have not been explored. The aim of this subanalysis of a multi-center clinical trial was to compare the efficacy and safety of 48 weeks of pegylated interferon alpha-2a (180 mu g weekly) with or without adefouir (10 mg daily) in patients with chronic delta hepatitis-induced advanced liver disease and in those with non-advanced liver disease. Materials and Methods: Thirty-one patients with advanced and 27 patients with non-advanced liver disease were assessed. Patients were considered to have advanced liver disease when biopsy disclosed a fibrosis score of >= 4 according to Ishak or when imaging studies were indicative of cirrhosis. Virologic response, defined as achievement of undetectable hepatitis D virus RNA, was assessed at the end of treatment and end of 24 weeks of treatment-free follow-up. Results: Patients with advanced disease had lower hepatitis D virus RNA levels and platelet counts (p=0.014 and p=0.0015, respectively). End of treatment and end of follow-up virologic responses in patients with advanced vs. non-advanced liver disease were similar (29% vs. 19% and 32% vs 23%). Proportion of adverse events did not differ between groups except that thrombocytopenia was noted more often in the advanced liver disease group. Further, four cases of clinically important adverse events including two cases of hepatic decompensation and one case of tuberculosis reactivation occurred in the advanced liver disease group. Conclusions: Pegylated interferon is as effective in patients with advanced liver disease due to chronic delta hepatitis as in patients with non-advanced liver disease, but patients should be monitored closely for clinically important side effects.