Sofosbuvir plus ribavirin for hepatitis C virus-associated cryoglobulinaemia vasculitis: VASCUVALDIC study

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Abstract

Background

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the aetiological agent for most cases of cryoglobulinaemia vasculitis. Interferon-containing regimens are associated with important side effects and may exacerbate the vasculitis.

Objective

To evaluate safety and efficacy of an oral interferon-free regimen, sofosbuvir plus ribavirin, in HCV-cryoglobulinaemia vasculitis.

Patients and methods

We enrolled 24 consecutive patients (median age of 56.5 years and 46% of women) with HCV-cryoglobulinaemia vasculitis. Sofosbuvir (400 mg/day) was associated with ribavirin (200–1400 mg/day), for 24 weeks. The primary efficacy end point was a complete clinical response of the vasculitis at the end of treatment (week 24).

Results

Main features of HCV-cryoglobulinaemia vasculitis included purpura and peripheral neuropathy (67%), arthralgia (58%), glomerulonephritis (21%) and skin ulcers (12%). Twenty-one patients (87.5%) were complete clinical response at week 24. Complete clinical response was achieved in six (25%) patients at week 4, four (16.6%) at week 8, seven (29.2%) at week 12, three (12.5%) at week 16 and one (4.2%) at week 20. The cryoglobulin level decreased from 0.35 (0.16–0.83) at baseline to 0.15 (0.05–0.45) g/L at week 24. The C4 serum level increased from 0.10 (0.07–0.19) to 0.17 (0.09–0.23) g/L at week 24. Seventy-four per cent of patients had a sustained virological response at week 12 post treatment. The most common side effects were fatigue, insomnia and anaemia. Two serious adverse events were observed.

Conclusions

Sofosbuvir plus ribavirin combination was associated with a high rate of complete clinical response and a low rate of serious adverse events in HCV-cryoglobulinaemia vasculitis.

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