Which chronic hepatitis C patients benefit from the prolonged "accordion" regimen?


Quick Answer

Slow responders, a subgroup of hepatitis C patients with genotype 1, benefit from extended treatment between 48 and 72 weeks. After receiving combination therapy for four to 12 weeks, the slow responders can be identified, states PubMed.

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Full Answer

Virological relapse rates were much lower, while sustained virological response rates were much higher, in a study in which patients received peginterferon alfa-2a (40 kDa) and ribavirin for 72 weeks. The benefit was seen in 45 percent of patients, compared to the 32 percent of patients who received treatment for 48 weeks, claims PubMed.

Chronic hepatitis C is a long-term liver infection resulting from the hepatitis C virus. Up to 80 percent of people diagnosed with acute hepatitis C, which it is called during the first six months of infection, move into the lasting, chronic stage of the infection, according to WebMD.

There are six genotypes of HCV, but more than 50 subtypes have also been identified. The most common form in the United States is genotype 1. Due to the number of genotypes and subtypes, viral genotyping is necessary to determine the best course of treatment for patients. It can help physicians determine how long to administer treatment and help them predict how likely their patients are to respond to treatment, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Patients who have genotypes 2 and 3 are nearly three times as likely to respond to treatment with alpha interferon or a combination of it with ribavirin than genotype 1 patients. A 24-week regimen of combination treatment is typically recommended for genotypes 2 and 3, while a 48-week regimen is recommended for genotype 1, explains the CDC.

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