1School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, Calif., USA.
Objective: Our goal was to systematically and quantitatively assess treatment response between Asian patients with hepatitis C virus genotype 6 (HCV-6) and hepatitis C virus genotype 1 (HCV-1) treated for 48 weeks with pegylated interferon and ribavirin.
Methods: We performed a literature search in MEDLINE and EMBASE for 'genotype 6' in August 2013. Additional abstracts from major international scientific conferences from 2012 to 2013 were reviewed. Studies included were original articles with ≥10 treatment-naïve Asian HCV-6 patients. Exclusion criteria were coinfections with hepatitis B virus, HIV and/or other liver diseases. Heterogeneity was defined as a Cochrane Q test with a p value of 0.10 and an I2 statistic of >50%. Results of a random-effects model are reported.
Results: A total of 1,046 (503 HCV-6; 543 HCV-1) patients from 12 studies were included in the analysis. The pooled sustained virologic response (SVR) rate was 80.2% (95% CI 74.3-85.0, Q statistic = 20.87, p < 0.035; I2 = 47.3%) for HCV-6 and 62.5% (95% CI 41.9-79.4, Q statistic = 52.41, p < 0.001; I2 = 92.37) for HCV-1 patients. HCV-6 patients had a significantly higher SVR rate compared to HCV-1 patients (odds ratio 2.73, 95% CI 1.69-4.41, p < 0.001). Approximately one fourth of patients without early virologic response (EVR) achieved SVR, regardless of genotype (HCV-1, n = 6/23; HCV-6, n = 4/21).
Conclusions: Asian patients with HCV-6 can expect higher SVR rates (∼80%) than HCV-1 patients (∼63%). EVR as a stopping rule is less clear in Asian patients with HCV-6 and HCV-1.