A review of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection treated with Pegylated interferon and Ribavirin at a central referral hospital in Durban

Vasudevan Naidoo

Abstract


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a well established cause of cirrhosis. It is however potentially curable with the current standard of care being a finite course of Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin. These drugs are expensive and have significant side effects. The prevalence of HCV in South Africa appears to be significantly lower than the developed world. Our experience with the management of these patients is thus considerably less and little is known with regard to the profile and outcomes of patients treated in South Africa.

This retrospective review of patients treated at a single specialist center in Durban will highlight basic demographic and laboratory data relevant to HCV. Treatment outcomes will be reported and general comments regarding reasons for success and failure in a low prevalence area. Significant side effects of treatment will also be reported.

HCV can be successfully treated in institutes that have relatively little experience in the management of these patients. This requires dedicated specialists and an appreciation of drug toxicity, patient selection and patient compliance.