Pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) has recently been approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B in children and adolescents. However, the exact efficacy and safety remains to be confirmed.
A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to assess the efficacy and safety of PEG-IFN for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B in children and adolescents.
Databases including MEDLINE/PubMed, Ovid-EMbase, the Cochrane Library and China National Knowledge Internet were searched to collect clinical trials examining the efficacy and safety of PEG-IFN in children and adolescents with confirmed hepatitis B virus infection. Data for treatment response, relapse, treatment discontinuations and adverse events were extracted and summarized.
A total of 10 clinical trials involving 658 patients were identified. Results indicate that 43% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 25%–61%) of the subjects treated with PEG-IFN achieved HBeAg serologic response, 18% (95% CI: 6%–35%) achieved HBsAg serologic response, 68% (95% CI: 55%–79%) achieved virologic response after the end of treatment and 60% (95% CI: 30%–87%) achieved sustained virologic response.
Current evidence indicates that PEG-IFN is effective in children and adolescents with hepatitis B virus and that treatment discontinuation due to serious adverse events is infrequent.