Vitamin D supplementation improves sustained virologic response in chronic hepatitis C (genotype 1)-naive patients.

Abu-Mouch S, Fireman Z, Jarchovsky J, Zeina AR, Assy N.

World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Dec 21;17(47):5184-90. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i47.5184.

AIM: To determine whether adding vitamin D, a potent immunomodulator, improves the hepatitis C virus (HCV) response to antiviral therapy. METHODS: Seventy-two consecutive patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 were randomized into two groups: the treatment group (n = 36, 50% male, mean age 47 +/- 11 years) received Peg-alpha-2b interferon (1.5 mug/kg per week) plus ribavirin (1000-1200 mg/d) together with vitamin D3 (2000 IU/d, target serum level > 32 ng/mL), and the control group (n = 36, 60% male, mean age 49 +/- 7 years) received identical therapy without vitamin D. HCV-RNA was assessed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (sensitivity, 10 IU/mL). The sustained virologic response (SVR) was defined as undetectable HCV-RNA at 24 wk post-treatment. RESULTS: Clinical characteristics were similar in both groups. The treatment group had a higher mean body mass index (27 +/- 4 kg/m(2) vs 24 +/- 3 kg/m(2); P < 0.01), viral load (50% vs 42%, P < 0.01), and fibrosis score (> F2: 42% vs 19%, P < 0.001) than the controls. At week 4, 16 (44%) treated patients and 6 (17%) controls were HCV-RNA negative (P < 0.001). At week 12, 34 (94%) treated patients and 17 (48%) controls were HCV-RNA negative (P < 0.001). At 24 wk post-treatment (SVR), 31 (86%) treated patients and 15 (42%) controls were HCV-RNA negative (P < 0.001). Viral load, advanced fibrosis and vitamin D supplementation were strongly and independently associated with SVR (multivariate analysis). Adverse events were mild and typical of Peg-alpha-2b/ribavirin. CONCLUSION: Adding vitamin D to conventional Peg-alpha-2b/ribavirin therapy for treatment-naive patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 infection significantly improves the viral response.

PMID: 22215943

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.