Pegylated interferon monotherapy of chronic hepatitis C in dialysis patients: Meta-analysis of clinical trials

O. Fabrizi, Vivek Dixit, Piergiorgio Messa, Paul Martin

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46 Scopus citations


The efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon monotherapy in patients with chronic renal failure and chronic hepatitis C remains unclear, although a number of small clinical trials have been published addressing this issue. A systematic review of the literature with a meta-analysis of clinical trials was performed in order to assess efficacy and safety of initial pegylated interferon monotherapy in chronic renal failure patients with chronic hepatitis C. The primary outcome was sustained virological response (as a measure of efficacy); the secondary outcome was drop-out rate (as a measure of tolerability). The random effects model of Der Simonian and Laird was used, with heterogeneity and sensitivity analyses. Sixteen clinical trials (254 unique patients) were identified, five (31%) being controlled studies; the majority (15/16=94%) regarded patients on long-term dialysis. The summary estimate for sustained virological response and drop-out rate was 33% [95% Confidence Intervals (95%CI) 24-43] and 23% (95%CI, 14-33), respectively. The most frequent side-effects requiring interruption of treatment were haematological (18%) and gastrointestinal (14%). In the group of controlled clinical trials, thesummaryestimate for sustained viral response and drop-out rate was 38% (95% CI, 18-59), and 15% (95% CI, 3-26), respectively. The studies were heterogeneous with regard to sustained virological response and drop-out rate. Pegylated IFN does not provide an added benefit in terms of virological response in comparison with standard IFN monotherapy. Tolerance to pegylated-IFN monotherapy was unsatisfactory. Prospective trials are in progress to assess the optimal antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C in dialysis patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)768-775
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Dialysis
  • Drop-out
  • Hepatitis C
  • Pegylated interferon
  • Virological response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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