Hippokratia 1998, 2(2):55-61
Hepatitis C is currently a major global health problem. According to recent WHO information, the prevalence of hepatitis range from 0.5% to greater than 10% in population samples around the world. Furthermore, it is now well known that 80% of acutely infected patients will progress to chronic hepatitis, 20% of which will develop cirrhosis and 1-5% of cirrhotic patients will also develop liver carcinoma during the next 10 years. Since no vaccine is so far available, special preventing efforts should be made mainly in those in high risk of infection: intravenous drug users, recipients of unscreened blood, dialysis patients, health-care workers etc. Interferon-a, in different dosing schedules, consists the treatment of choice in chronic hepatitis C. Combination therapies have been also tried mainly in non-responders to interferon or those with disease recurrence. Furthermore, new therapeutic protocols are tested.