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J Hepatol. 2005 Jul;43(1):72-7. Epub 2005 Apr 26.

Virus and transaminase levels determine the emergence of drug resistance during long-term lamivudine therapy in chronic hepatitis B.

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Liver Research Unit, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and University, 199, Tung Hwa North Road, Taipei, Taiwan.



The results of earlier studies on determinants for the emergence of tyrosine-methionine-aspartate-aspartate (YMDD) mutants (rtM204 I/V) were controversial. The aim was to evaluate the impact of viral factors, host factors, host-viral interaction and drug factor on the emergence of rtM204 I/V.


56 non-cirrhotic and 58 cirrhotic patients received lamivudine therapy for a median of 34 (12-60) months.


rtM204 I/V emerged in 37 noncirrhotic and 36 cirrhotic patients. Stepwise logistic regression analysis showed that baseline hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) status [odds ratio (OR), 7.728; 95% confidental interval (CI), 2.886-12.957; P=0.0026], HBV-DNA level (OR, 3.756; 95% CI, 1.058-5.089; P=0.0202), alanine transaminase (ALT) level (OR, 6.285; 95% CI, 1.057-11.990; P=0.00246) and treatment duration (OR, 19.88; 95% CI, 8.652-31.762; P<0.0004) were independent determinants for the emergence of rtM204 I/V. Further categorical analysis and correlation test disclosed that patients with HBeAg positivity, HBV-DNA>500 pg/ml and ALT <5x upper limit of normal had significantly higher mutation rates.


HBeAg status, HBV-DNA, ALT levels and treatment duration are the major determinants for the YMDD mutation during lamivudine therapy, and should be considered in designing the therapeutic strategy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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