The widely accepted interleukin-28B (IL-28B) rs12979860 C/T polymorphism and the more recently proposed vitamin D serum concentration are two novel predictors of the response to antiviral treatment in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This study aimed to verify whether the IL-28B rs12979860 C/T polymorphism and pretreatment serumvitamin D levels have independent or complementary roles in predicting the rates of sustained viral response (SVR). The present study included 211 consecutive, treatment-naive chronic HCV patients who had their pretreatment serum 25-OH vitamin D level and IL-28B rs12979860 C/T genotype determined. Overall, SVR was achieved by 134/211 (63.5%) patients and by 47/110 (42.7%) patients infected with difficult-to-treat HCV genotypes. On multivariate analysis, SVR was predicted by the HCV genotype, the IL-28B rs12979860 C/T polymorphism, and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, HCV RNA, cholesterol, and 25-OH vitamin D serum levels, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.827. When difficult-to-treat HCV genotypes were analyzed separately, the SVR was predicted by the IL-28B rs12979860 C/T polymorphism, viral load, and serum vitamin D level, with an area under the ROC curve of 0.836. Moreover, by categorizing these latter patients into four groups - C/C homozygotes with vitamin D levels >20 ng/mL (group A) or ≤ 20 ng/mL (group B) and C/T heterozygotes or T/T homozygotes with vitamin D levels >20 ng/mL (group C) or ≤ 20 ng/mL (group D) - a significant linear trend was observed, with SVR rates in the following descending order: group A, 18/21 (85.7%); group B, 6/11 (54.5%); group C, 14/38 (36.8%); and group D, 9/40 (22.5%) (P < 0.0001). Conclusion: Vitamin D serum levels are complementary to the IL-28B rs12979860 C/T polymorphism in enhancing the correct prediction of the SVR in treatment-naive chronic hepatitis C.
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