Anaemia predictors in patients with chronic hepatitis C treated with ribavirin and direct-acting antiviral agents

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Anaemia is the most common side effect associated with ribavirin (RBV). This study intended to assess its incidence and determine its predictive factors in patients with hepatitis C virus on RBV plus direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs).


A retrospective study of patients receiving RBV+DAA was conducted. Serum haemoglobin (Hb) was determined at baseline and monitored 4 weekly. Anaemia was defined as a single occurrence of Hb <10 g/dL. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess the relationship between the occurrence of anaemia and the following factors: age, gender, FibroScan score, viral load, cirrhotic status (yes/no), RBV dose, glomerular filtration rate (GFR), alanine amino transferase, albumin, treatment duration (12 vs ≥12 weeks), baseline Hb, and Hb% drop (weeks 0–2).


152 patients were included, of which 15.1% experienced anaemia. The analysis revealed that estimated GFR (eGFR), baseline Hb, 12-week treatment duration and Hb% drop (weeks 0–2) were significantly associated with the likelihood of developing anaemia (p<0.05). Two mathematical models were subsequently developed to predict patients at risk of anaemia: a pretreatment model (positive predictive value 86.6%) which included eGFR, baseline Hb and 12-week treatment duration and an intratreatment model (positive predictive value of 90.48%) which in addition included the Hb% drop (weeks 0–2).


Anaemia was found to be less significant in this cohort compared with studies on RBV plus pegylated interferon, telaprevir or boceprevir combinations, but higher than those on newer DAAs. Baseline Hb, eGFR, 12-week treatment duration and Hb% drop (weeks 0–2) significantly predicted the risk of anaemia and were used to construct two predictive models.

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