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Treatments Found Effective for Chronic Hepatitis E Infection

Articles discuss three patients treated with ribavirin or pegylated interferon-α for infection

TUESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Ribavirin and pegylated interferon-α may be effective in treating chronic hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection, according to two reports published online June 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Vincent Mallet, M.D., of the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, and colleagues discuss a kidney and pancreas transplant patient and another with idiopathic CD4+ T lymphocytopenia, both with chronic HEV infection confirmed by biopsy. The patients received daily oral ribavirin for 12 weeks. The researchers found that, in both patients, liver function tests were normal after two weeks of treatment, and HEV RNA was undetectable in serum and stool for two to three months of follow-up.

Laurent Alric, M.D., of the Toulouse University Hospital in France, and colleagues describe a 57-year-old man diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia who presented the following year with elevated liver enzymes and detectable HEV RNA. He was later given a three-month course of pegylated interferon-α2b. At week seven, HEV RNA was undetectable in stool, and liver enzyme levels were in the normal range.

"To our knowledge, this is the first report that chronic HEV infection may occur in an immunocompromised patient without a history of immunosuppressive therapy or HIV infection. In addition, we suggest that pegylated interferon-α is an effective treatment of chronic HEV infection," Alric and colleagues conclude.

Abstract - Mallet
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Abstract - Alric
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