Background & Aims: Combination therapy with pegylated interferon (PEGIFN) and ribavirin has significantly improved virus eradication rate in patients affected by HCV-related chronic hepatitis (C-HC). However, only few data are available with respect to efficacy and safety of this therapy in aged patients. This study aimed at investigating efficacy and tolerability of combination therapy in aged patients with CH-C. Methods: 473 patients [319 (67.4%) naive, 195 (41,2% female) with CH-C (genotype 1, n=266; genotype 2, n=112, genotype 3, n=72, genotype 4, n=23), of whom 68 (14.4%) over 65 years old (mean age 69±2 years), were treated with Peg-IFN (alpha-2a or alpha-2b) plus ribavirin according to international guidelines from January 2007 to July 2011. These patients were assessed for sustained viral response (SVR) rate and for all known main predictors of SVR in CH-C. Results: The overall SVR rate resulted similar in both age groups [270/405 (66.6%) in subjects <65 years vs. 41/68 (60.3%) in subjects ≥65 years, respectively, p=0.334)]. Overall, therapy discontinuance rate was low, with no significant difference between patients over or under age 65 (4.4% vs. 4.9%, respectively), the most common reason for discontinuance being anemia in both groups.For patients over 65, at multivariate analysis, non-naïve status, EVR and use of hematological growth factors were independent predictors of SVR. Factors independently related to EVR at multivariate analysis were non-naive, staging, genotype 2-3 vs. genotype1-4 and use of hematological growth factors Conclusions: Aged patients can be candidates for Peg-IFN plus ribavirin therapy. The appropriate use of hematological factors in these patients may be useful to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of therapy discontinuation due to hematological side-effects. The response-guided therapy may be applied in predicting therapy efficacy in this patient group
Efficacy and safety of combination therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in aged patients with chronic hepatitis C / G., Abbati; Ventura, Paolo; Sardini, Carla; A., Vegetti; Pileri, Francesca; Cagnacci, Sara; Venturelli, Giorgia; Incerti, Federica; Pietrangelo, Antonello. - In: DIGESTIVE AND LIVER DISEASE. - ISSN 1590-8658. - ELETTRONICO. - 44 supplement 1:(2012), pp. 35S-35S.