BACKGROUND: There is no generally accepted treatment for chronic hepatitis B (HB) infection in children. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy of a prolonged course of high dose interferon alone or after prednisone priming in children with chronic HB infection. METHODS: The outcome of 31 children with HB e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis who randomly received either no treatment (n = 9) or 10 million units of interferon alpha-2b/m2, alone (n = 13) or after prednisone priming (n = 9), three times weekly for 1 year was studied. RESULTS: One patient withdrew from treatment. By the end of the first year treatment induced a loss of HB virus DNA and HBeAg from serum in 10 of 21 patients (48%), and a loss of HB surface antigen (HBsAg) in 4 (19%). Alanine aminotransferase values became normal in one patient (4.8%). Response rates in the two groups of treated patients were similar. In controls only one patient lost HBeAg and HBV DNA (11%; P = 0.05), and none lost HBsAg or showed alanine aminotransferase normalization (P = 0.21 and 0.70, respectively). After a posttreatment 2-year follow-up there were still no differences in the response rates of the two treatments; of the 21 pooled treated patients, 61% lost HBeAg and DNA and 67% normalized alanine aminotransferase (vs. 33 and 44% of controls, respectively; P = 0.32 and 0.40). Reversion to HBeAg and HBV DNA negativity in treated patients occurred significantly earlier (P = 0.02 and 0.006, respectively) than in controls. No further patient lost HBsAg, but one reacquired HBsAg. Treated patients had posttreatment histologic scores better than controls (P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Our medium term follow-up results indicate that a prolonged course of high dose interferon in children with chronic HB infection, regardless of prednisone priming, poorly affects response rates but significantly speeds termination of active viral replication.

Prolonged and high dose recombinant interferon alpha-2b alone or after prednisone priming accelerates termination of active viral replication in children with chronic hepatitis B infection

VAJRO, PIETRO;VECCHIONE, RAFFAELA;AMMENDOLA, ROSARIO;TERRACCIANO, LUIGI MARIA;NOVISSIMO, ANTONIO;VEGNENTE, ANGELA
1996

Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is no generally accepted treatment for chronic hepatitis B (HB) infection in children. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy of a prolonged course of high dose interferon alone or after prednisone priming in children with chronic HB infection. METHODS: The outcome of 31 children with HB e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis who randomly received either no treatment (n = 9) or 10 million units of interferon alpha-2b/m2, alone (n = 13) or after prednisone priming (n = 9), three times weekly for 1 year was studied. RESULTS: One patient withdrew from treatment. By the end of the first year treatment induced a loss of HB virus DNA and HBeAg from serum in 10 of 21 patients (48%), and a loss of HB surface antigen (HBsAg) in 4 (19%). Alanine aminotransferase values became normal in one patient (4.8%). Response rates in the two groups of treated patients were similar. In controls only one patient lost HBeAg and HBV DNA (11%; P = 0.05), and none lost HBsAg or showed alanine aminotransferase normalization (P = 0.21 and 0.70, respectively). After a posttreatment 2-year follow-up there were still no differences in the response rates of the two treatments; of the 21 pooled treated patients, 61% lost HBeAg and DNA and 67% normalized alanine aminotransferase (vs. 33 and 44% of controls, respectively; P = 0.32 and 0.40). Reversion to HBeAg and HBV DNA negativity in treated patients occurred significantly earlier (P = 0.02 and 0.006, respectively) than in controls. No further patient lost HBsAg, but one reacquired HBsAg. Treated patients had posttreatment histologic scores better than controls (P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Our medium term follow-up results indicate that a prolonged course of high dose interferon in children with chronic HB infection, regardless of prednisone priming, poorly affects response rates but significantly speeds termination of active viral replication.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/373074
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