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J Hepatol. 2003 Nov;39(5):850-5.

Clinical outcome and virologic profiles of severe hepatitis B exacerbation due to YMDD mutations.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, PR, China.



To study the outcome and the virologic profiles of severe hepatitis exacerbations due to YMDD mutants in lamivudine-treated patients.


Eighteen lamivudine-treated patients with severe hepatitis exacerbations due to YMDD mutants were recruited. Laboratory and clinical parameters were monitored. Viral genotypes and YMDD mutations were determined.


None of the 18 patients had YMDD wild-type during exacerbations. Three (17%) and 15 (83%) patients had genotypes B and C, respectively. Elevated bilirubin levels and prolonged prothrombin time were found in 11 (61%) and six patients (33%) respectively. Three patients (17%) had adverse outcome with the development of ascites and/or encephalopathy. One of these patients required liver transplantation and one died. Both patients had evidence of cirrhosis before treatment and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) seroreversion from anti-HBe positivity. The remaining 16 patients (89%) have no evidence of pre-existing cirrhosis. Thirty seven percent of patients had normal alanine aminotransferase levels at the last follow-up. The median HBV DNA level at the last follow-up was significantly lower than the pre-treatment level (P=0.009).


Though the majority of patients with severe hepatitis exacerbations due to YMDD mutants had uneventful course, early liver transplantation should be considered in patients with pre-existing cirrhosis and HBeAg seroreversion.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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