Background & Aims Anemia is a common adverse effect of telaprevir (TVR) in combination with pegylated interferon (PegIFN)α and ribavirin (RBV) therapy. It occurs at a higher incidence with the TVR relative to PegIFNα and RBV alone. We herein evaluate the baseline and on-treatment predictors of the development of severe anemia by chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients receiving TVR-based triple therapy. Methods This prospective, multicenter study consisted of 292 patients (median age: 62 years) infected with HCV genotype 1. All received 12 weeks of TVR in combination with 24 weeks of PegIFNα2b and RBV. The definition of severe anemia during antiviral treatment is hemoglobin (Hb) <85 g/L. Results 101 (34.6%) patients developed severe anemia during the treatment period. Multivariable logistic regression analysis of possible pretreatment predictors of the development of severe anemia extracted baseline Hb <135 g/L (Hazard ratio [HR], 2.53; p = 0.0013), estimated glomerular filtration rate <80 ml/min/1.73 m2 (HR, 1.83; p = 0.0265), and inosine triphosphatase (ITPA) CC genotype (rs1127354) (HR, 2.91; p = 0.0024). For patients with ITPA CC (n = 227), multivariable logistic regression analysis of possible pretreatment and on-treatment predictors of the development of severe anemia extracted Hb level at week 2 (HR, 0.96; p = 0.0085) and the initial four weeks of weight-adjusted TVR (HR, 1.05; p = 0.0281). Conclusions Anemia remains a risk for all patients treated with TVR-based triple therapy. However, ITPA polymorphism (rs1127354) is useful for predicting the development of severe anemia and will be helpful in the management of treatment.
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