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J Infect Dis. 2010 Jul 1;202(1):86-92. doi: 10.1086/653209.

HBsAg profiles in patients receiving peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin for the treatment of dual chronic infection with hepatitis B and C viruses.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Municipal Ta-Tung Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



With use of peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin combination therapy in patients with dual chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, 11.2% of patients achieved clearance of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) at 6 months after treatment; however, reactivation of HBV DNA was observed in 36.3%. We investigated the predictive potential of HBsAg quantification.


HBsAg quantification was performed in 120 e antigen-negative patients dually infected with HBV and hepatitis C virus and treated with peginterferon alfa-2a/ribavirin for 48 weeks (HCV genotype 1; n = 74) or 24 weeks (HCV genotype 2/3; n = 46). HBsAg was quantified at baseline, week 4, week 12, end of treatment, and 24 weeks after treatment.


The baseline median serum HBsAg level was 120 IU/mL and decreased gradually during treatment. Low baseline HBsAg was significantly associated with HBsAg clearance (40% for HBsAg level 20 IU/mL vs 2.2% for HBsAg level >20 IU/mL; P < .05). A decrease in HBsAg level from baseline to week 12 of 50% was associated with a reduced likelihood of HBV DNA reactivation in patients with baseline undetectable serum HBV DNA (positive predictive value, 89.5%).


HBsAg quantification appears to be a useful indicator of posttreatment outcome in patients dually infected with HBV and hepatitis C virus.

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