Infectious diseases (London, England) 2017 03 0349(7) 514-520 doi 10.1080/23744235.2017.1293841
Intravenous ribavirin has been reported to be an effective treatment for haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) caused by Hantaan virus in Asia. However, its therapeutic benefits for HFRS caused by Puumala virus (PUUV) in Europe are still unknown.
A randomized, open-label study of efficacy and safety of intravenous ribavirin in the treatment of HFRS was conducted in the European part of Russia. Seventy-three patients with suspected HFRS within 4 d of the onset of the disease were randomized to receive either intravenous ribavirin (33 mg/kg, followed by 16 mg/kg given every 6 h for 4 d and by 8 mg/kg given every 8 h for 3 d) plus standard therapy (n = 37) or standard therapy alone (n = 36). The primary outcome was the average change from baseline in viral load over time estimated as area under the viral load curve minus baseline (AUCMB). Fifty-five patients with HFRS confirmed by nested reverse transcriptase – polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay were included in the assessment of the efficacy. All patients entered into the clinical trial were included in the assessment of the safety.
PUUV was detected in all cases of confirmed HFRS. Viral load kinetics were similar in both treatment groups. Significantly more patients receiving ribavirin than standard therapy experienced low haemoglobin level (95% vs 36%), hyperbilirubinemia (81% vs 3%), sinus bradycardia (43% vs 14%), and rash (19% vs 0%).
Results of the study showed insufficient efficacy and safety of intravenous ribavirin in the treatment of HFRS caused by PUUV.