Influence of recombinant interferon alpha on nutritional status
and growth pattern in children with chronic viral hepatitis
Influence of recombinant interferon alpha on
nutritional status and growth pattern in children with chronic
Anorexia and weight loss are frequently
reported as adverse effects during recombinant interferon alpha
(rIFN-alpha) treatment. The aim of the present study was to assess
both nutritional status and growth of children and adolescents
treated with rIFN-alpha for chronic viral hepatitis. Eleven
patients aged 4-16 years with histologically proven chronic active
hepatitis (hepatitis B, n = 9; hepatitis C, n = 2) receiving
rIFN-alpha subcutaneously thrice a week for 6 months were studied.
Weight and height increments were assessed during the 6 months
before starting rIFN-alpha. Weight and height were measured every 3
months (M0, M3, M6) during the 6 months of rIFN-alpha treatment,
then every 6 months during the follow up period (6-36 months).
Weight decreased in every child during rIFN-alpha treatment (weight
loss varies from 0.5 to 2.6 kg after 3 months of treatment).
Weight/age Z-score decreased from 0.12 at M0 to -0.69 at M3 (P <
0.01), then increased between M3 and M6 (-0.33) (P < 0.01), but
normalized (0.02) only 6 months after completion of treatment.
Nutritional status was significantly impaired during treatment
(Z-score for weight/height decreased from 0.18 at M0 to -0.74 at
M3, P < 0.01) and recovered progressively thereafter. Height and
height velocity were not modified by rIFN-alpha treatment. A
reduction of the caloric intake observed between M0 and M3 might
explain these features.
CONCLUSION: Significant but transient
abnormalities of the nutritional status are encountered constantly
at the beginning of rIFN-alpha therapy without any deleterious
effect on growth. Information of the families and nutritional
intervention during treatment should be required, in order to limit
the importance of weight loss.
Author: Gottrand F, Michaud L, Guimber D,
Ategbo S, Dubar G, Turck D, Farriaux JP, Service de Pediatrie,
Hopital Huriez, CHRU de Lille, France. Source: Eur J Pediatr 155: