Background/Aims: We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of peginterferon plus ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients under real life setting in Korea. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 758 CHC patients treated with peginterferon plus ribavirin between 2000 and 2008 from 14 university hospitals in the Gyeonggi- Incheon area in Korea. Results: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 was detected in 61.2% of patients, while genotype 2 was detected in 35.5%. Baseline HCV RNA level was ≥6×10 5 IU/mL in 51.6% of patients. The sustained virological response (SVR) rate was 59.6% regardless of genotype; 53.6% in genotype 1 and 71.4% in genotype 2/3. On multivariate analysis, male gender (p=0.011), early virological response (p<0.001), genotype 2/3 (p<0.001), HCV RNA <6×10 5 IU/ mL (p=0.005) and adherence to the drug >80% of the planned dose (p<0.001) were associated with SVR. The rate of premature discontinuation was 35.7%. The main reason for withdrawal was intolerance to the drug due to common adverse events or cytopenia (48.2%). Conclusions: Our data suggest that the efficacy of peginterferon and ribavirin therapy in Koreans is better in Koreans than in Caucasians for the treatment of CHC, corroborating previous studies that have shown the superior therapeutic efficacy of this regimen in Asians.
- Chronic hepatitis C
- Pegylated interferon alpha