Georgieva-Shakola M, Atanassova A, Tzaneva V, Popova M, Kotzev I

Clinic of Pediatric Endocrinol & Gastroenterol, Clinic of Hepatogastroenterol, University Hospital “St. Marina”, Varna, Bulgaria


Objective: The aim of the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis (HVH) with interferon (INF) alfa is to eradicate the infection, to improve the liver disease & to prevent the progress to cirrhosis.  Study’s aim was to evaluate the side effects of treatment of HVH with INF in children.

Methods:  In 1998-2000 8 pts. with C HVH (12-18 years), 13 with B HVH (3-18years) were  treated with INF in dose from 1,5 MU to 6 MU 3 times a week for 4 to 12 months. At 1 week intervals during the treatment, each pt. was tested for hemoglobin, leucocytes, granulocytes, platelet cells, at 2 weeks intervals – for aminotransferases. There were clinical and laboratory controls (complete) after the end of the treatment.

Results: A transient influenza-like syndrome was observed in all treated pts. during the first 1-2 weeks. Temporary dosage changes were necessary in 2 pts. for uncomplicated neutropenia. One patient (12 years old) had an episode of febrile convulsion. Moderate leukopenia was observed in all pts, thrombocytopenia - in 2pts., moderate anaemia - in 4 pts, allegic reaction - in 1 pts, alopecia - in 5 pts., local reaction in the side of ingection – in 2 pts. Ten pts. losted weight (1,5-10% body weight) during therapy. A hemophilic boy developed diabetes mellitus in course of treatment of HCV infection. The side effects didn’t depend on the kind & dose of INF.  The pts. with duration of treatment 6-12 months had more and intensive expression of side effects. These effects disappeared after treatment was discontinued.

Conclusion: INF was generally well tolerated & side effects were reversible.