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Alpha-Interferon Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C: Need for Accurate Diagnosis in Selecting Patients

Martin Black, MD; and Marion Peters, MD
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Requests for Reprints: Martin Black, MD, Temple University School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, 3420 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140.

Temple University School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA 19140Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO 63110

Ann Intern Med. 1992;116(1):86-88. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-116-1-86
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For two decades, therapy for viral hepatitis has included alpha-interferon, but only this year was the drug licensed for treatment of chronic non-A, non-B hepatitis. The licensing of the drug for use in patients with non-A, non-B hepatitis, rather than only in those with a specific diagnosis of hepatitis C (HCV), reflects both state-of-the-art knowledge of HCV testing with the commercially available test for antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV) (70% to 80% positive in "high-risk" populations; that is, those with risk factors for non-A, non-B hepatitis infection) as well as the possibility that there are "non-A, non-B, non-C" viruses yet to


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