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Hepatol Res. 2012 Dec;42(12):1236-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1872-034X.2012.01039.x.

Changes in levels of hepatitis B virus markers in patients positive for low-titer hepatitis B surface antigen.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, St Marianna University School of Medicine, KawasakiDepartments of Infectious Diseases Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine, University of Tokyo Department of Internal Medicine, Center for Liver Diseases, Seizankai Kiyokawa Hospital, Tokyo Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, St Marianna University School of Medicine Yokohama City Seibu Hospital, Yokohama, Japan.



  Recently, patients positive for the low-titer hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) have been found occasionally owing to the increase in the accuracy of detection methods. The aim of this study is to clarify the clinical status of acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in patients positive for low-titer HBsAg.


  Eight patients, who were positive for HBsAg at low titers and diagnosed as having acute HBV infection, were enrolled in this study. Assays of HBsAg, hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc), hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAg), hepatitis B e-antibody (anti-HBe), hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) and HBV DNA, and biochemical tests were basically conducted every 4 weeks for at least 24 weeks.


  The average cut-off index of HBsAg was 8.7 ± 9.6 (range, 1.0-25.7). All the patients were negative for anti-HBc, HBeAg, anti-HBe and HBV DNA on their initial visit. The genotype of HBV could be determined in four patients: two were infected with genotype B/HBV, one was infected with genotype A/HBV, and the remaining patient was infected with genotype C/HBV. Although HBsAg clearance was observed within 4 months in all the patients, none of the other HBV markers seroconverted during the observation period.


  HBV infection terminating with seronegativity for HBV markers may occur in transient HBV infection.

© 2012 The Japan Society of Hepatology.

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