Université Paris-Descartes, Pôle d'hépato-gastro-entérologie médico-chirurgical, Unité d'hépatologie, Hôpital Cochin, 27 rue du Faubourg Saint Jacques, 75014 Paris, France
The « gold-standard » of the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection, the combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin, results in 50% of virologic recovery. Such a therapy may result in hematologic side effects (anemia related to the hemolysis associated with ribavirin ; thrombopenia and neutropenia associated with the bone marrow suppression associated with interferon) . The occurrence of hematological side effects can result in doses reductions or treatment discontinuations which negatively impact on the rate of sustained virologic response. The direct consequence of the negative impact is an increased risk of evolution to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. This decreased the rate of sustained virologic response resulting, in the last decade, in the use of hematological growth factors as an adjuvant of the antiviral treatment in order to maintain the good dosage for the good duration. The benefits, indications and limitations of the hematological growth factors in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection are detailed in this review.