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Serum levels of endotoxin were detected in 101 patients with CHC. All the patients received combined antiviral therapy (AVT): 83 of them got PEG- IFN-a-2a (Pegasys) and another 18 – short-acting IFNa.
The total number of leukocytes, neutrophils as well as the endotoxin levels in blood prior to AVT was normal. Through the course of AVT, 62 patients developed grade 2 neutropenia (54 patients on Pegasys and 8 receiving short-acting IFNa). Given the developing neutropenia, starting from Week 8 on, there was an increase in the blood endotoxin observed in all the patients, while those with neutropenia had their blood endotoxin higher if compared with those with no neutropenia. There was an inverse relationship found between the endotoxin levels and the number of neutrophils. Filgrastim (Neupo- max) was administered in 28 patients with neutropenia
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Keywords: chronic hepatitis C, neutrophils, endotoxin, antiviral therapy, granulocyte colonystimulating factor