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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 20, Issue 2, Pages 87-90
Original Article

Treatment Outcomes in a Centralized Specialty Clinic for Hepatitis C Virus Are Comparable with Those from Clinical Trials

Kelly DE Kaita, Stephen Wong, Eberhard Renner, and Gerald Y Minuk

Section of Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Viral Hepatitis Investigative Unit, Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Received 30 May 2005; Accepted 31 May 2005

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Outcomes from industry-sponsored registration trials are often considered to be more favourable than those achieved in clinical practice because patients involved in the former are highly selected and supported, but it is not known if this impression is valid.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the outcome of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients who received therapies for chronic HCV in a single urban centre and compare the results with those derived from contemporary, industry-sponsored trials.

DESIGN: Retrospective chart review of HCV-infected patients referred to the Viral Hepatitis Investigative Unit in Winnipeg, Manitoba, between 1998 and 2003.

METHODS: The Viral Hepatitis Investigative Unit database was used to identify all referred patients with positive anti-HCV antibodies. Charts were reviewed for the following data: patient demographics; viral genotype; indications and contraindications to treatment; treatment type; and outcome of antiviral therapy.

RESULTS: For 1800 anti-HCV positive patients identified, 1078 charts were available for review. Of these patients, the mean age was 47 years (range 11 years to 90 years) and 53% were men. Genotype 1 was the most common (65%). A total of 331 patients (31%) had received antiviral therapy. The sustained viral responses were similar to those described in industry-sponsored registration trials. Specifically, the sustained viral responses for interferon-alpha monotherapy (n=81) was 22.2%, interferon-alpha plus ribavirin (n=180) 44.4%, pegylated interferon monotherapy (n=38) 44.7% and pegylated interferon plus ribavirin (n=24) 54.2%.

CONCLUSION: HCV treatment outcomes from a single urban centre were similar to those described in industry-sponsored registration trials despite the high selection and support provided to patients enrolled in the latter studies.