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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Feb;25(2):259-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.06006.x. Epub 2009 Oct 9.

Therapeutic effects of pegylated interferon plus ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C patients with occult hepatitis B virus dual infection.

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1
Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang-Gung University, College of Medicine, Keelung, Taiwan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIM:

Occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is defined by the detectable serum HBV-DNA in HBV surface antigen-negative patients. This retrospective study aims to evaluate the therapeutic effects of combined pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) plus ribavirin (RBV) in patients with concurrent occult HBV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) dual infection.

METHODS:

In total, 126 consecutive chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients who received combined PEG-IFN and RBV therapy were included. Patients were divided into the occult HBV/HCV dual infection group or the HCV-monoinfected group according to whether or not they had the detectable serum HBV-DNA. The biochemical and virological responses to combined therapy were compared between these two groups. Serum HCV-RNA and HBV-DNA were checked before treatment, at the end of treatment as well as at 6- and 12-months' follow up in the occult HBV/HCV group.

RESULT:

Six patients were seropositive for HBV-DNA and were included in the occult HBV/HCV dual infection group. There were no statistical differences in the biochemical and virological responses to combined therapy between these two groups. Undetectable serum HBV-DNA was noted at the end of the treatment and the 6- and 12-months' follow up in patients with occult HBV/HCV dual infection.

CONCLUSION:

Occult HBV infection in CHC patients is rare. The biochemical and virological responses to combined PEG-IFN and RBV therapy might be similar in CHC patients with or without occult HBV infection. The serum HBV-DNA level was low in patients with occult HBV/HCV dual infection who responded to combined therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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