Forty patients with chronic viral hepatitis or active cirrhosis (33 anti-HCV positive) entered a recombinant human alpha 2A interferon randomized trial. Twenty-one subjects were treated with 6 million units (MU) three times per week for 6 months. Nineteen were not treated. Six months later in 12 patients of the treated group (60% of the evaluable 20) with normalized serum aminotransferases levels (responders), fibrogenesis serum markers (NPIIIP and laminin) were significantly lower than baseline. In the untreated patients and in non-responders NPIIIP and laminin were unchanged. Semi quantitative histological evaluation (allotting scores for inflammation, necrosis and fibrosis) confirmed a significant improvement of necro-inflammation in the responders. These data suggest that alpha-IFN treatment may decrease stimuli for fibrogenesis by reducing liver inflammation and necrosis, thus preventing evolution to cirrhosis.