Background and Aims: Studying the predictors of SVR to pegylated interferon (PEG-INF) alfa-2a and ribavirin (RBV) therapy in chronic HCV infected patients is crucial for selecting those who would benefit most from therapy. Increased HPCs in HCV-infected patients were shown to be correlated with increasing fibrosis and response to treatment. HPCs could be detected in the liver by
immunohistochemical expressions of cytokeratin (CK) 7 and CK19. This study aims to a. Evaluate the response rate to interferon based treatment in chronic HCV patients. b. Detect the predictors of SVR to treatment. c. Study the correlations between CK7 and CK19 expressions and treatment response. Methods: This study included 483 chronic HCV infected patients who fulfilled the study criteria who underwent clinical, biochemical and virological assessments before treatment and at 12, 24, 48 and 72 weeks post-treatment. Only 330 patients; 193 male and 137 completed the course and were included in the statistical analysis. Only 50 specimens were examined for CK7 and CK19 expression. using avidin, biotin, peroxidase technique. Results: There was significant association between CK7 and/or CK19 expressions and grade of necro-inflammation (P < 0.033, 0.026
respectively), and/or advanced stage of fibrosis (P < 0.001, 0.000 respectively). There were significant inverse relations between SVR and stage of hepatic fibrosis (P < 0.001), and CK19 expression (P < 0.000). Conclusions: HPCs as assessed by CK7 and CK19 expressions may
be incorporated in assessment of treatment response of these patients