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J Hepatol. 2002 Nov;37(5):669-74.

Durability of lamivudine-induced HBeAg seroconversion for chronic hepatitis B patients with acute exacerbation.

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Liver Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



Lamivudine-induced hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion in patients with chronic hepatitis B was reported to be durable by several studies but controversy still exists. The aim of this study was to evaluate the durability of the responses of lamivudine treatment.


Among 53 chronic hepatitis B patients who had acute exacerbation and had finished lamivudine therapy after at least 6 months of treatment, 31 patients achieved full HBeAg seroconversion twice at least 1 month apart, and subsequently stopped lamivudine therapy. Post-treatment monitoring was continued for up to 87 weeks. Alanine transaminase (ALT), HBeAg and hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA were used as indicators for relapse.


The cumulative relapse rates at 48 and 72 weeks post-treatment were 45.4% and 56.3%, respectively. During follow up, normal ALT levels precluded relapse while ALT levels over two times the upper limit of normal indicated relapse, which correlated well with HBeAg or HBV DNA reappearance. Patients older than 25 years were more likely to experience post-treatment relapse.


Lamivudine-induced full HBeAg seroconversion was not durable in the Taiwanese population. ALT levels were useful for relapse detection. Age was the only independent predictive factor for relapse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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