Journal of medical virology

Insulin resistance as a predictor of early virologic response to HCV therapy among chronic HCV Egyptian patients.

PMID 25583244


Prior assessment of insulin resistance by HOMA-IR is emerging as an important milestone in the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C. This cost-effective tool is recommended to individualize treatment duration, or to exclude those with low insulin sensitivity from being treated until ameliorating their state of insulin resistance (IR). The present work aims to elucidate further the effect IR state on early viral kinetic response to Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapy and the impact of HCV treatment and viral eradication on insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity was assessed using the HOMA-IR method. All enrolled patients were treated with a dual therapy (pegylated interferon-alpha plus ribavirin) for 48 weeks and evaluated using qRT-PCR for early virologic response as well as the impact of treatment on insulin sensitivity throughout the early period of therapy. Of a total 392 chronic HCV cases, early virologic response was achieved by 318 (81.1%). IR was detected in 241 (61.5%) chronic HCV patient of which 73.4% responded to treatment. Early virologic response among patients with > 2.18 HOMA-IR value were significantly lower than those with HOMA-IR values ≤2.18 (P < 0.0001). IR was significantly associated with high baseline BMI. Steatosis and fibrosis correlated with IR but neither independently predicted early virologic response. Pretreatment IR < 2.18, low fasting blood glucose, low and intermediate HCV viral load, normal BMI, and non-smoking were independent factors associated with early virologic response. IR interferes with early virologic response to the antiviral care. Clinical application of pretreatment HOMA-IR assessment could help in predicting early treatment outcome and thus enable treatment regimens to be optimized and individually tailored.

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Ribavirin, European Pharmacopoeia (EP) Reference Standard