Comparison of Serum Hepatitis C Virus RNA Concentration by Branched DNA Probe Assay With Competitive Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction as a Predictor of Response to Interferon-a Therapy in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients

Comparison of Serum Hepatitis C Virus RNA Concentration by Branched DNA Probe Assay With Competitive Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction as a Predictor of Response to Interferon-a Therapy in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients

Comparison of Serum Hepatitis C Virus RNA Concentration by Branched DNA Probe Assay With Competitive Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction as a Predictor of Response to Interferon-a Therapy in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients

Abstract

A study was carried out to assess the correlation between the serum concentration of hepatitis C virus RNA (HCV-RNA) in patients with chronichepatitis, as measured by competitive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (cRT-PCR) and branched DNA probe assay (bDNA), andresponse to interferon-alpha (IFN alpha) therapy. The serum HCV-RNA concentration was evaluated by both cRT-PCR and bDNA in 54 patients who had received a total dose of 480 MU of IFN alpha. HCV subtypes were also identified in all patients. The measurement of serum HCV-RNAconcentration by bDNA correlated significantly with that of cRT-PCR. The concentration of HCV-RNA in subtype 1 patients was significantly higher than that in subtype 2 patients when measured by bDNA, but not when measured by cRT-PCR. The correlation of HCV-RNA concentration between bDNA and cRT-PCR was associated with both subtypes 1 and 2. The difference in serum HCV-RNA concentration between complete and incomplete responders was more significant when measured by bDNA probe assay than by cRT-PCR. Moreover, only 1 of 26 patients with a HCV-RNAconcentration of more than 1 x 10(6) eq/ml as measured by bDNA probe assay attained a complete response, while 19 of 28 patients with that of less than 1 x 10(6) eq/ml achieved it. Measurement of serum HCV-RNA concentration by bDNA probe assay was a better predictor of clinical response of IFN alpha therapy than measurement by cRT-PCR.

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