Int J Med Sci 2010; 7(1):36-42. doi:10.7150/ijms.7.36 This issue

Research Paper

Weight loss, leukopenia and thrombocytopenia associated with sustained virologic response to Hepatitis C treatment

Nuntra Suwantarat, Alan D. Tice, Thana Khawcharoenporn, Dominic C. Chow

Department of Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA 96813.

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Suwantarat N, Tice AD, Khawcharoenporn T, Chow DC. Weight loss, leukopenia and thrombocytopenia associated with sustained virologic response to Hepatitis C treatment. Int J Med Sci 2010; 7(1):36-42. doi:10.7150/ijms.7.36. Available from

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OBJECTIVE: To identify apparent adverse effects of treatment of chronic hepatitis C and their relationship to sustained virologic response (SVR).

METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted of all Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in an academic ambulatory infectious disease practice. Clinical and laboratory characteristics were compared between patients with SVR and without SVR.

RESULTS: Fifty-four patients completed therapy with the overall SVR rate of 76%. SVR was associated with genotype non-1 (P=0.01), weight loss more than 5 kilograms (P=0.04), end of treatment leukopenia (P=0.02) and thrombocytopenia (P=0.05). In multivariate analysis, SVR was significant associated with HCV genotype non-1 (Adjusted Odd Ratio [AOR] 15.22; CI 1.55 to 149.72; P=0.02), weight loss more than 5 kilograms, (AOR 5.74; CI 1.24 to 26.32; P=0.04), and end of treatment white blood cell count level less than 3 X 103 cells/µl (AOR 9.09; CI 1.59 to 52.63; P=0.02). Thrombocytopenia was not significant after adjustment. Other factors including age, gender, ethnicity, injection drug use, viral load, anemia, alanine transaminase level, and liver histology did not reach statistical significance.

CONCLUSION: Besides non-1 genotype, SVR was found to be independently associated with weight loss during therapy, and leukopenia at the end of HCV treatment. These correlations suggest continuation of therapy despite adverse effects, may be of benefit.

Keywords: Hepatitis C, pegylated interferon, ribavirin, weight loss, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia.