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Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2008 Jan;14(1):15-9. doi: 10.4103/1319-3767.37796.

Characteristics of treatment naïve chronic hepatitis B in Bangladesh: younger populations are more affected; HBeAg-negatives are more advanced.

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Department of Hepatology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Shahbag, Dhaka, Bangladesh.



Bangladesh is a densely populated country with intermediate endemicity for chronic hepatitis B (CHB). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the biochemical, virological and histological character of CHB patients and to examine the relationship between these indices.


One thousand and twenty-two patients of CHB fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria were (1) HBsAg positive for at least 6 months, (2) HBeAg-positive or negative and (3) hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA positive. Patients with detectable antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis Delta virus (HDV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), with previous antiviral treatment, overt cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, were excluded. Of these, 191 patients were randomly selected for liver biopsy and were evaluated for analysis.


In the 191 patients, male to female ratio was 4.6:1; age distribution was 26.5 +/- 8.5 (mean +/- standard deviation) years. One hundred and seventy-eight (93.2%) patients were under 40 years. Sixty-eight (35.6%) patients were HBeAg-negative, had less DNA load, and were significantly older, more fibrotic and cirrhotic (P < 0.001). Correlation was not found between DNA level and histological activity. Histological activity was not correlated with ALT level in HBeAg-positive patients (P < 0.001).


CHB affects the younger population in Bangladesh. HBeAg-positive CHB was associated with more fibrosis and cirrhosis. Serum HBV DNA levels do not correlate with the severity of histological lesions in all patients. Evaluation by liver biopsy remains gold standard for taking decision of treatment.


Age; Bangladesh; chronic hepatitis B

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