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Cleve Clin J Med. 2009 May;76 Suppl 3:S14-9. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.76.s3.04.

Hepatitis B treatment: Current best practices, avoiding resistance.

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Liver Transplant Program, Division of Hepatology and Complex Gastroenterology, California Pacific Medical Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.


All patients who are positive for hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA should be considered for antiviral treatment. Potency in suppressing HBV DNA is the main factor in the choice of first-line therapy; entecavir and tenofovir constitute the most potent nucleoside and nucleotide analogues to date with the lowest rates of resistance. Viral negativity may reduce the development of liver failure and the need for transplant, although these benefits need to be demonstrated prospectively. Loss of hepatitis B surface antigen, or seroconversion, may represent a new treatment paradigm. The development of resistance to therapy can result in virologic breakthrough and serious clinical consequences. Use of the most potent agents as first-line therapy lowers the risk of resistance; but if resistance develops, adding an additional agent, rather than switching to another therapy, is advised.

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