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Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 15  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 785 - 791

Combination therapy with interferon and ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C infection in beta-thalassaemia major

Saffar M.J., Saffar H., Khalilian A.R. and Naqshvar F.    

Abstract: Treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus [HCV] infection in transfusion-dependent betathalassaemia major patients is complicated by existing hepatic siderosis and the fear of ribavirinassociated haemolysis. We evaluated the efficacy and side-effects of combination interferon-alpha [INF] and ribavirin therapy for HCV-infected thalassaemia patients. A total of 17 patients were enrolled [10 nonresponders to INF monotherapy, 7 naive to treatment, mean age 23.1 years] and they received 12 months of combination therapy. The sustained virological response rate 6 months after treatment was 58.8%. Blood transfusion requirements during treatment temporarily increased by 36.6%. Combination therapy was tolerated by, and may be useful for, HCV-infected thalassaemia major patients.

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