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J Viral Hepat. 2018 Oct;25(10):1161-1171. doi: 10.1111/jvh.12927. Epub 2018 May 24.

Comparison of overall survival between antiviral-induced viral suppression and inactive phase chronic hepatitis B patients.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Radiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Nucleot(s)ide analogues (NAs) reduce the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. However, the risk of HCC is reportedly higher for NA-treated patients than for patients in the inactive CHB phase. This study aimed to compare the long-term outcomes of CHB patients with NA-induced viral suppression and those of patients with inactive CHB. This retrospective study involved 1118 consecutive CHB patients whose HBV DNA level was continuously <2000 IU/mL during follow-up with/without antiviral agents. The patients were classified into inactive CHB (n = 373) or NA groups (n = 745). The primary endpoint was overall survival. Secondary endpoints included development of HCC and other liver-related events. The median duration of follow-up was 41.0 (interquartile range = 26.5-55.0) months. The difference in overall survival between the NA group vs. the inactive CHB group was not significant (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.33-1.85; P = .57). The NA group showed a significantly higher risk of HCC (HR = 3.44; 95% CI = 1.82-6.52; P < .01), but comparable risk for non-HCC liver-related events (HR = 1.02; 95% CI = 0.66-1.59; P = .93), compared with the inactive CHB group. Among patients with cirrhosis, the NA group showed a significantly lower risk of death (HR = 0.31; 95% CI = 0.097-0.998; P = .05) and non-HCC liver-related events (HR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.31-0.83; P < .01), but a slightly higher risk of HCC (HR = 2.39; 95% CI = 0.85-6.75; P = .09), compared to the inactive CHB group. The overall survival of untreated patients with inactive CHB and of CHB patients achieving viral suppression with NA was comparable. However, NA treatment of cirrhotic patients was significantly associated with longer overall survival and lower risk of liver-related events.


antiviral treatment; chronic hepatitis B; hepatocellular carcinoma; survival


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