Vitamin D supplementation improves response to antiviral treatment for recurrent hepatitis C – Source: Transplant International, Jul 22, 2010

Summary: In immune-competent patients, higher vitamin D levels predicted sustained viral response (SVR) following interferon (INF) and ribavirin therapy for chronic hepatitis C.

This study aimed to verify the influence of vitamin D serum levels and/or vitamin D3 supplementation in predicting SVR rates for recurrent hepatitis C (RHC).

Forty-two consecutive patients were treated for RHC with combination therapy with INF-alpha and ribavirin for 48 weeks.

Vitamin D serum levels were measured in all patients before antiviral therapy. In 15 patients oral vitamin D3 supplementation was administered to avoid further bone loss. Sustained viral response (SVR) was observed in 13 patients; it was achieved in 1/10 severely vitamin D deficient (10 and 20 ng/ml) 25-OH vitamin D serum levels (P < 0.05).

Cholecalciferol supplementation, in the presence of a normal or near normal baseline vitamin D concentration, (improvement of chi-square P < 0.05, odds ratio 2.22) and possessing a genotype other than 1 (improvement of chi-square P < 0.05, odds ratio 3.383) were the only variables independently associated to sustained viral response (SVR).

In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency predicts an unfavorable response to antiviral treatment of RHC. Vitamin D3 supplementation improves the probability of achieving a sustained viral response (SVR) following antiviral treatment.

Source: Transplant International, Jul 22, 2010. PMID: 20649944, by Bitetto D, Fabris C, Fornasiere E, Pipan C, Fumolo E, Cussigh A, Bignulin S, Cmet S, Fontanini E, Falleti E, Martinella R, Pirisi M, Toniutto P. Medical Liver Transplantation Unit, Internal Medicine, University of Udine, Udine, Italy. [E-mail: pierluigi.toniutto@uniud.it]

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