alpha interferon in hepatitis D virus hepatitis

Last reviewed 01/2018

A trial reporting the use of high dose alpha interferon in hepatitis D virus hepatitis suggests that:

  • high dose alpha interferon (9 million units three times weekly) has been shown to result in a complete response in 50% of patients treated. A complete response is defined as a return of aminotransferase levels to normal and clearance of hepatitis delta virus RNA from the serum.
  • 21% of patients were apparently disease free 6 months after therapy.
  • a complete response was less likely to occur with lower doses of alpha interferon.
  • relapse was often delayed - there is evidence that indefinite therapy may be required for a durable response.
  • if hepatitis B is eliminated (HBsAg is cleared from the serum) then it appears that hepatitis D may be cured.