Changes in serum and red blood cell membrane lipids in patients treated with interferon ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C

H. Tanaka, M. Miyano, H. Ueda, Koji Fukui, M. Ichinose

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One of the side effects by interferon ribavirin (I/R) treatment is haemolytic anemia, causing some patients to discontinue I/R treatment. The exact mechanism of I/R-induced anemia is unknown. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of I/R treatment on the serum lipid and red blood cell (RBC) membrane lipid profiles of patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and the association between changes of RBC membrane lipids and haemolytic anemia by I/R treatment. Fourteen patients with CHC were treated with I/R and their serum lipid profiles were studied. In addition, in seven of the 14 patients, the RBC membrane lipid profiles were analysed. In the RBC membrane lipid composition, the total cholesterol, total phospholipids and cholesterol/phospholipids (C/PL) ratio were significantly increased. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) and the phosphatidylcholine/sphingomyelin (PC/SM) ratio were significantly decreased and other phospholipid fractions were significantly increased. Changes in the serum lipids and RBC membrane lipid profiles of patients with CHC treated with I/R were shown. Especially, a decrease in the RBC deformability and membrane fluidity by changes in these RBC membrane lipids was supposed and it is suggested that those changes may result in haemolytic anemia by I/R treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-195
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec
Externally publishedYes



  • Chronic hepatitis C
  • Interferon ribavirin treatment
  • Red blood cell membrane lipids
  • Serum lipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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