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J Hepatol. 2002 May;36(5):681-6.

The evolution of hepatitis B virus serological patterns and the clinical relevance of isolated antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen in HIV infected patients.

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  • 1Infectious Diseases Department, Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Hôpital d'Enfants, 21034 Dijon Cedex, France.



The evolution of hepatitis B virus (HBV) serological patterns and the clinical relevance of isolated anti-HBc pattern are not well established in HIV infected patients.


A cohort of 240 patients was followed for 6.9+/-3.4 years, with iterative HBV serologic assays performed (mean interval of 2.2 years).


Five patients without HBV markers at baseline subsequently developed positive anti-HBs (incidence 0.66/100 patient-year), as did two patients with chronic HBs antigenemia (incidence 1.66/100 patient-year). Only one patient with isolated anti-HBc pattern developed HBs chronic antigenemia. Persistent isolated anti-HBc pattern was observed in 37 patients (13 with detectable blood HBV DNA) and was strongly associated with positive hepatitis C virus (HCV) viremia (hazard ratio=9.5, confidence interval 95%: 4.5-20.0, P<0.0001). Hepatic lesions were more severe in HCV infected patients with persistent isolated anti-HBc pattern than in those without (Knodell score 9.2+/-4.6 versus 6.7+/-5.0, P=0.04). In time updated analysis, this pattern was not associated with an increased risk of hepatotoxicity, by contrast with HCV infection or positive HBs antigenemia.


In HIV infected patients, HBV serological status must be systematically and regularly assessed, and systematic HBV vaccination must be proposed in those without HBV marker. Isolated anti-HBc pattern must be considered in the management of hepatitis C, but not for antiretroviral therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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