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Hepatol Int. 2013 Mar;7(1):88-97. doi: 10.1007/s12072-012-9343-x. Epub 2012 Mar 23.

Hepatitis B surface antigen levels: association with 5-year response to peginterferon alfa-2a in hepatitis B e-antigen-negative patients.

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Service d'Hépatologie and INSERM U773-CRB3, Hôpital Beaujon, University of Paris, 100 boulevard du Général Leclerc, 92110 Clichy, France.



To investigate the durability of response to peginterferon alfa-2a up to 5 years post-treatment and factors associated with response in hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAg)-negative patients.


HBeAg-negative patients received peginterferon alfa-2a (180 μg/week) ± lamivudine (100 mg/day) for 48 weeks as part of a multicenter, randomized study. The planned 5-year efficacy analysis included patients (n = 230) enrolled in the long-term follow-up study. On-treatment hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) decline kinetics were analyzed retrospectively in a subgroup of patients with HBsAg data available at baseline, weeks 12, 24, and 48 on-treatment, and 6 months post-treatment (n = 120). Receiver operating characteristic analyses identified the on-treatment HBsAg levels associated with response at 1 and 5 years post-treatment.


HBV DNA ≤2,000 IU/mL and HBsAg clearance at 5 years post-treatment were achieved by 23 and 12% of patients, respectively. High rates of HBsAg clearance at 5 years post-treatment were achieved by patients with HBV DNA ≤2,000 IU/mL at 1 year post-treatment (28%). Rates of HBV DNA ≤2,000 IU/mL at 1 year post-treatment were 47.2 and 43.4% in patients with ≥10% decline from baseline at weeks 12 and 24, respectively, compared with 16.4% (p = 0.0003) and 13.2% (p < 0.0004) in patients with a <10% decline. Rates of HBsAg clearance at 5 years post-treatment were 22.6 and 22.4% in patients with ≥10% decline at weeks 12 and 24, respectively, compared with 7.5% (p = 0.0161) and 3.8% (p < 0.0001) in patients with <10% decline.


Peginterferon alfa-2a results in increasing rates of HBsAg clearance during post-treatment follow-up in HBeAg-negative patients. On-treatment decline in HBsAg is significantly associated with long-term post-treatment response.


Chronic hepatitis B; HBV DNA suppression; HBsAg clearance; Long-term response; Prediction

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