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A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): A.D.A.M.; 2013.

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.

Antigen

Last reviewed: August 30, 2012.

An antigen is any substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it. An antigen may be a foreign substance from the environment such as chemicals, bacteria, viruses, or pollen. An antigen may also be formed within the body, as with bacterial toxins or tissue cells.

Review Date: 8/30/2012.

Reviewed by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

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  • Glucocorticosteroid pretreatment may increase virologic response to interferon in hepatitis B 'e' antigen positive chronic hepatitis BGlucocorticosteroid pretreatment may increase virologic response to interferon in hepatitis B 'e' antigen positive chronic hepatitis B
    Interferon is an established treatment for chronic infection with hepatitis B virus. Although it is effective, response rates are not satisfactory. In order to increase response rates glucocorticosteroid withdrawal therapy has been proposed as a pretreatment strategy. The objectives of this review were to assess the effects of the sequential combination of glucocorticosteroids and interferon compared to interferon alone in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Glucocorticosteroid pretreatment was associated with a significantly higher frequency of loss of hepatitis B markers (HBeAg and HBV DNA), but had no significant effect on clinical outcomes.
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