The condition of a hepatitis C patient's liver prior to beginning treatment with interferon and ribavirin is a good indicator of whether that will person will respond to the therapy, according to a study reported in the September issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
Researchers at the University of Miami School of Medicine conducted a retrospective review of 112 patients with untreated hepatitis C. All of the patients underwent diagnostic laparoscopy before being treated for at least 24 weeks with interferon and ribavirin.
Laparoscopy is conducted with an pencil-thin instrument that resembles a miniature telescope. When inserted into the abdomen, the instrument allows clinicians to look for disease.
The researchers found that participants who were shown byu the laparoscopy to have less scarring, and those who had genotypes other than 1, were more likely to have a sustained response to the combination therapy.
Other sources: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 2003 Sep;58(3):380-3