New perspectives and advances in risk factor assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of hepatitis C

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Abstract

Over four 4 million Americans are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), and chronic hepatitis C is now the leading cause of liver transplantation. Early detection of HCV-often evidenced by sporadic elevations in serum alanine aminotransferase levels-is vital for optimizing patient care. For patients diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, a novel therapy containing recombinant interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin capsules is now available. Interferon alfa2b/ribavirin combination therapy is nearly tenfold more effective than alpha interferon monotherapy in clearing the serum of HCV RNA in patients relapsing after a course of alpha interferon and nearly threefold more effective in the initial treatment of chronic hepatitis C. The side-effect profile of the combination is predictable, tolerable, and manageable. Due to the effectiveness of this combination therapy in chronic hepatitis C patients, it is important to identify, diagnose, refer, and/or initiate this treatment in HCV- antibody-positive individuals.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)20+23-24+26+29+43-44
JournalPractical Gastroenterology
Volume23
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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