Efficacy and Safety of Pegylated Interferon Alfa-2a or Alfa-2b Plus Ribavirin for the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • BACKGROUND: A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to examine the efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon (peg-IFN) alfa-2a and peg-IFN alfa-2b plus ribavirin (RBV) in children and adolescents with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV). METHODS: Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched. Clinical trials examining peg-IFN alfa-2a or peg-IFN alfa-2b plus RBV among persons ages 3-18 years with HCV were included. Data were abstracted for complete early virologic response (EVR), sustained virologic response (SVR), relapse, treatment discontinuations, hematologic and dermatologic adverse events, and growth inhibition. RESULTS: Eight trials met the inclusion criteria. Results indicate that 70% of subjects (95% confidence interval [CI], 58%-81%) achieved EVR, and 58% (95% CI, 53%-64%) achieved SVR. EVR and SVR were higher for those with HCV genotypes 2/3 than 1/4. Discontinuation due to adverse events and discontinuation due to viral breakthrough were each 4%, discontinuation due to a lack of response was 15%, and relapse was 7%. Anemia, neutropenia, leukopenia, and thrombcytopenia were 11%, 32%, 52%, and 5%, respectively. Alopecia, injection site erythema, and pruritus were 13%, 27%, and 10%, respectively. Small growth inhibitions were observed during treatment. CONCLUSION: The results of this meta-analysis indicate that peg-IFN/RBV combination treatment is effective and safe in treating children and adolescents with HCV.

publication date

  • April 1, 2013