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World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Feb 21;21(7):2214-9. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i7.2214.

Combined glucocorticoid and antiviral therapy of hepatitis B virus-related liver failure.

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Jan-Hendrik Bockmann, Maura Dandri, Stefan Lüth, Nadine Pannicke, Ansgar W Lohse, 1 Deparment of Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.


Acute hepatic failure due to hepatitis B virus (HBV) can occur both during primary infection as well as after reactivation of chronic infection. Guidelines recommend considering antiviral therapy in both situations, although evidence supporting this recommendation is weak. Since HBV is not directly cytopathic, the mechanism leading to fulminant hepatitis B is thought to be primarily immune-mediated. Therefore, immunosuppression combined with antiviral therapy might be a preferred therapeutic intervention in acute liver failure in hepatitis B. Here we report our favourable experience in three hepatitis B patients with fulminant hepatic failure who were treated by combining high-dose steroid therapy with standard antiviral treatment, which resulted in a rapid improvement of clinical and liver parameters.


Acute liver failure; Hepatitis B virus; Prednisolone; Reactivation; Rituximab

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