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Antivir Ther. 2007;12(3):345-53.

Two-year lamivudine treatment for hepatitis B e antigen-negative chronic hepatitis B: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China. hlychan@cuhk.edu.hk



We conducted a multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study to investigate the efficacy of 2-year lamivudine treatment in hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-negative chronic hepatitis B.


One-hundred-and-thirty-nine treatment-naive patients with HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B were randomized to receive either lamivudine (100 mg daily) or placebo in a 2:1 ratio for 24 months and were followed for an additional 6 months. The primary endpoint was complete response, defined as hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA < 10,000 copies/ml and normalization of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels at month 24.


On intent-to-treat analysis at month 24, significantly more patients in the lamivudine group than in the placebo group had complete response (56% and 11%, respectively; P < 0.001) or negative HBV DNA (26% and 6%, respectively; P = 0.006). After adjustment of baseline HBV DNA and ALT, the odds ratio for complete response of the lamivudine group versus the placebo group was 10.8 (95% confidence interval: 3.8-30.2; P < 0.001). The median log HBV DNA reduction was 3.21 copies/ml for the lamivudine group compared with 0.47 copies/ml for the placebo group (P < 0.001). Genotypic resistance was detected in 23% and 31% of patients in the lamivudine group at months 12 and 24, respectively. Negative HBV DNA at month 6 was associated with high complete response (84%) and low drug resistance (1%) at month 24. At month 30, there was no difference between lamivudine and placebo groups in the rates of complete response (26% vs 19%, respectively; P = 0.38) or negative HBV DNA (10% vs 2%, respectively; P = 0.09).


Two-year lamivudine treatment is effective in HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B. However, the response is not sustained after treatment cessation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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