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Hepatol Int. 2010 Aug 4;4(4):673-80. doi: 10.1007/s12072-010-9201-7.

Non-invasive assessment of changes in liver fibrosis via liver stiffness measurement in patients with chronic hepatitis B: impact of antiviral treatment on fibrosis regression.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) can assess liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). We evaluated whether LSM can be used to assess changes in liver fibrosis during antiviral treatment using nucleos(t)ide analogs in patients with CHB.

METHODS:

We recruited 41 patients with CHB who had significant liver fibrosis, normal or slightly elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels (≤2 × upper limit of normal), and detectable serum hepatitis B virus DNA before antiviral treatment. Patients in Group 1 (n = 23) and Group 2 (n = 18) underwent follow-up LSM after antiviral treatment for 1 and 2 years, respectively.

RESULTS:

The mean age, ALT and LSM value of all patients (34 men and 7 women) before antiviral treatment were 46.6 ± 9.5 years, 40.6 ± 17.2 IU/L and 12.9 ± 8.6 kPa, respectively. Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) was detected in 31 patients (75.6%). Fibrosis stage was F2 in 12 (29.3%), F3 in 6 (14.6%) and F4 in 23 (56.1%) patients. After antiviral treatment, LSM values and DNA positivity decreased significantly as compared to baseline (P = 0.018 and P < 0.001 in Group 1; P = 0.017 and P < 0.001 in Group 2, respectively), whereas ALT levels were unchanged (P = 0.063 in Group 1; P = 0.082 in Group 2).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our preliminary data suggest that LSM can be used to assess liver fibrosis regression after antiviral treatment using nucleos(t)ide analogs in patients with CHB.

KEYWORDS:

Alanine aminotransferase; Chronic hepatitis B; Liver fibrosis; Liver stiffness measurement; Nucleos(t)ide analog; Transient elastography

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