Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 16218177
Antivir. Ther. (Lond.) 2005;10(6):769-76
AIM: To evaluate the benefits of haematopoietic growth factors (HGFs) during the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with severe haematotoxicity.
METHODS: This was a 1-year retrospective study of HCV-positive patients receiving pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Patients received different HGFs, depending on certain criteria: they received erythropoietin (EPO) when their haemoglobin (Hb) levels were less than 10 g/dl and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) when their neutrophil count was less than 750 cells/mm3. Haematological data, adherence and virological response were analysed and compared according to HGF use.
RESULTS: In total, 132 patients were studied and 31 (23.5%) required HGF. Under multivariate analysis, baseline Hb levels of less than 13g/dl or a drop in Hb levels of over 2% per week predicted severe anaemia, and a baseline neutrophil count under 2900/mm3 predicted severe neutropaenia. HGF administration restored Hb values and the neutrophil count to above 10 g/dl and 1500 cells/mm3, respectively, in all 31 patients. Adherence to antiviral treatment was achieved in 25% of patients versus 58% of controls without severe haematotoxicity. The primary and sustained virological response did not differ statistically between HGF support and the control group (61% versus 57% and 32% versus 39%, respectively).
CONCLUSION: HGF administration counteracts the severe haematological adverse effects which occur during antiviral therapy and maintains the rate of sustained response.