In patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 1, the current algorithm for treatment discontinuation is based on no early virological response (<2 log decline in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-RNA) at 12 weeks. It is important to determine whether prediction of nonsustained virological response (NR) before 12 weeks can be robustly obtained by statistical methods. We used longitudinal discriminant analysis (LDA) to build and cross-validate models including baseline patient characteristics and measurements of serum HCV-RNA in the first 4, 8 or 12 weeks of treatment. The performance of each model was evaluated by the partial AUC (PA) index, exploring the accuracy of prediction in the range of high negative predictive values. Models were compared by computing 95% confidence intervals for the difference in PA indices. NR was best predicted before week 12 by a single HCV-RNA measurement at week 8 taken together with gender, BMI and age (W8 model, PA index = 0.857). This model was not inferior to models that included a measurement at week 12 (PA index = 0.831). The best model obtained with LDA within the first 4 weeks, which included measurements at days 4, 8 and at week 4, was found to be inferior to the week 8 model (PA index = 0.796). These results indicate that lack of sustained viral response is best predicted after 8 weeks of treatment and that waiting until 12 weeks does not improve the prediction.

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Keywords Combined therapy, Cross-validation, Early viral kinetics, Genotype 1 hepatitis C virus, Prediction of nonsustained virological response
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Lukasiewicz, E., Gorfine, M., Freedman, L.S., Pawlotsky, J.M., Schalm, S.W., Ferrari, C., … Neumann, A.U.. (2010). Prediction of nonSVR to therapy with pegylated interferon-α2a and ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 patients after 4, 8 and 12 weeks of treatment. Journal of Viral Hepatitis, 17(5), 345–351. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2893.2009.01183.x