Lymphoblastoid interferon alfa treatment in chronic hepatitis
Author: Iorio R; Pensati P; Porzio S; Fariello I; Guida S;
Vegnente A; Source: Arch Dis Child Date of Pub: 1996 Feb Issue: 2
Volume: 74 Pagination: 152-6
Abstract: Interferon is becoming the standard treatment in
adults for chronic hepatitis C. Twenty one children with
histologically proved chronic hepatitis C (10 boys, range 2.5-13
years), who were otherwise healthy, were enrolled in a randomised
controlled study to test their response to interferon alfa. Eleven
children were treated with lymphoblastoid interferon alfa (3
million units/m2) for 12 months; 10 children received no treatment.
All had raised transaminases and positive antihepatitis C virus
(HCV) antibodies and HCV-RNA. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) serum
levels became normal in five (45%) treated patients after a mean of
three weeks (range 1-6 weeks) and no relapse had occurred by the
end of follow up (30th month). Only one (10%) untreated patient had
normal ALT serum levels from the 11th until the 30th month.
Disappearance of serum HCV-RNA, persisting throughout the follow up
period, was observed in the six children (five treated) whose ALT
became normal. Biopsy specimens in treated patients showed a
significant improvement in Knodell's score (median (SD) basal 9.0
(2.2); final 2.0 (0.4)). Interferon treatment was well tolerated in
all. This study confirms the efficacy of interferon in children
with chronic hepatitis C, not only by restoring normal ALT serum
levels, but also viral clearance and histological amelioration of
liver inflammation. Contrary to reports in adults no biochemical
and virological relapses occurred in responder children.
Abstract By: Author Address: Department of Paediatrics,
University of Naples, Italy.