Background/Aims: Peginterferon plus ribavirin remains a standard therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in Korea. We investigated the efficacy and long-term outcome of peginterferon and ribavirin therapy in Korean patients with CHC, particularly in relation to the stage of liver fibrosis. Methods: The incidence of sustained virological response (SVR), hepatic decompensation, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver-related death was analyzed in 304 patients with CHC; the patients were followed up for a median of 54 months. Results: Among patients with HCV genotype 1, the SVR rate was 36.7% (18/49) and 67% (69/103) for patients with and without cirrhosis, respectively (p<0.001). For patients with non-1 HCV genotypes, the SVR rates were 86.0% (37/43) in cirrhotic patients and 86.2% (94/109) in noncirrhotic patients. SVR significantly reduced the risk of liverrelated death, hepatic decompensation, and hepatocellular carcinoma, which had hazard ratios of 0.27, 0.16, and 0.22, respectively (all p<0.05). However, despite the SVR rate, patients with advanced fibrosis were still at risk of developing liver-related complications. Conclusions: A relatively high SVR rate was achieved by peginterferon plus ribavirin therapy in Korean patients with CHC, which improved their long-term outcomes. However, all CHC patients with advanced hepatic fibrosis should receive close follow-up observations, even after successful antiviral treatment.
- Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis C virus clinical trials
- Hepatitis C virus treatment
- Viral hepatitis
ASJC Scopus subject areas