Famciclovir treatment of chronic delta hepatitis.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Interferon is the only established therapy for chronic delta hepatitis and alternative treatment options are an urgent need. Since successful treatment of a case of post-transplant delta hepatitis with the nucleoside analogue famciclovir had been reported, a pilot study was undertaken to evaluate the use of famciclovir in the treatment of chronic delta hepatitis. METHODS: A total of 15 adult patients, 13 men, two women, ages 20-52 years, with chronic delta hepatitis were treated with famciclovir, 500 mg, three times a day for 6 months and were then followed-up for 6 months posttreatment. All patients had compensated chronic liver disease, elevated liver enzymes and were hepatitis delta virus (HDV) RNA positive by polymerase chain reaction at baseline. Patients were monitored and tested for HBsAg, hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA and HDV RNA levels. Liver biopsies were obtained before starting famciclovir and within 1 month of completion of treatment. RESULTS: HBV DNA levels decreased in nine of the 15 patients and levels rose again after treatment (P<0.05). Famciclovir had no effect on alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and HBsAg levels or on serum HDV RNA and overall, there was no improvement in liver histology. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of chronic delta hepatitis with famciclovir has no effect on disease activity and HDV RNA levels.
Yurdaydin, C; Bozkaya, H; Gürel, S; Tillmann, HL; Aslan, N; Okçu-Heper, A; Erden, E; Yalçin, K; Iliman, N; Uzunalimoglu, O; Manns, MP; Bozdayi, AM
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