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Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Feb;101(2):297-303.

Treatment with Peg-interferon alpha-2b for HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B: HBsAg loss is associated with HBV genotype.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss is the hallmark of a complete response to antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis B. In this study, we investigated the frequency of HBsAg loss after treatment with pegylated (Peg)-interferon alpha-2b.


In a multicenter randomized controlled trial, 266 HBeAg-positive patients were treated for 52 wks with Peg-interferon alpha-2b (100 microg/wk) in combination with either lamivudine (100 mg/day) or placebo. Posttreatment follow-up was 26 wks.


At the end of follow-up, 95 (36%) of the 266 patients exhibited HBeAg loss, 18 (7%) HBsAg loss, and 16 (6%) HBsAg seroconversion. Addition of lamivudine did not enhance HBeAg loss, HBsAg loss, or development of anti-HBs. All 18 patients who showed HBsAg loss had normal ALT; 11 (61%) of these patients were also hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA negative (<400 copies/mL) at the end of follow-up. Loss of HBsAg differed according to HBV genotype: 14% for genotype A, 9% for genotype B, 3% for genotype C, and 2% for genotype D (A vs D: p = 0.006).


One year of Peg-interferon alpha-2b for HBeAg-positive patients led to HBsAg loss in 7%. Our study indicates that treatment with Peg-interferon alpha-2b is the best therapy to achieve HBsAg clearance in patients with genotype A.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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