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J Hepatol. 2002 Feb;36(2):263-70.

Outcome of anti-HBe positive chronic hepatitis B in alpha-interferon treated and untreated patients: a long term cohort study.

Author information

1
U.O. Gastroenterologia ed Epatologia, Spedali Riuniti di Santa Chiara, Via Paradisa n. 2 - Cisanello, 56124 Pisa, Italy. brunetto@med-club.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

We studied the influence of biochemical and virologic patterns and interferon on the outcome of anti-HBe positive chronic hepatitis B in 164 (103 treated) consecutive patients, followed-up prospectively for a mean of 6 years (21 months-12 years).

METHODS:

Histology, biochemical and virologic profiles were characterized by monthly monitoring during the first 12 months of follow-up. Thereafter patients underwent blood and clinical controls every 4 and 6 months, respectively. Cirrhosis at follow-up histology or end stage complications of cirrhosis served as end points for the analysis of factors influencing disease progression in patients with baseline chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis, respectively.

RESULTS:

Disease progression was associated with older age (P<0.001), absence of previous HBeAg history (P=0.017) and higher serum HBV-DNA levels (P=0.009) (more frequently observed in unremitting disease profile, P=0.012) at multivariate analysis. Fluctuations of IgM anti-HBc levels (associated with disease exacerbations, P=0.045) correlated with end stage complications in cirrhotics (P=0.011). Disease improved in 14.6 and 1.6% of treated and untreated patients, respectively (P=0.015): interferon slowed disease progression (P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The outcome of anti-HBe positive chronic hepatitis B is worsened by older age and persistent viral replication or hepatitis exacerbations in chronic hepatitis or in cirrhotic patients, respectively. Interferon reduces by 2.5-folds disease progression.

PMID:
11830339
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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