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Virol J. 2019 May 7;16(1):61. doi: 10.1186/s12985-019-1152-6.

Serum hepatitis B virus RNA levels as a predictor of HBeAg seroconversion during treatment with peginterferon alfa-2a.

Jia W1,2, Zhu MQ2, Qi X2, Wang T1,2, Wen X1,2, Chen PD1,2, Fan QQ1,2, Zhang WH2, Zhang JM3,4.

Author information

1
Department of Infectious Diseases, Jing'An District Centre Hospital of Shanghai, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
2
Department of Infectious Diseases, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Room 510, Building 5, 12 Middle Wulumuqi Road, Shanghai, China.
3
Department of Infectious Diseases, Jing'An District Centre Hospital of Shanghai, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. jmzhang@fudan.edu.cn.
4
Department of Infectious Diseases, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Room 510, Building 5, 12 Middle Wulumuqi Road, Shanghai, China. jmzhang@fudan.edu.cn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion represents an endpoint of treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections.

METHODS:

We have studied whether levels of serum hepatitis B virus ribonucleic acid (HBV RNA) during pegylated interferon alfa-2a treatment might be helpful for predicting HBeAg seroconversion. 61 HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients treated with pegylated interferon alfa-2a alone or in combination with adefovir (10 mg/day) for 48 weeks were included in this retrospective analysis. Response was defined as HBeAg seroconversion at 24 weeks posttreatment. Receiver operating characteristic analyses were used to identify baseline and on-treatment HBV RNA levels associated with response.

RESULTS:

Twenty-two of 61 (36.1%) patients achieved a response. Baseline HBV RNA levels were lower in responders than in nonresponders (4.55 ± 1.19 and 5.90 ± 1.13 copies/mL, respectively, P = 0.001). Baseline HBV RNA cut off level (200,000 copies/mL) provided a positive predictive value (PPV) of 56.0% and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 77.8%. HBV RNA level (3000 copies/mL) at week 12 provide a PPV of 75.0% and a NPV of 82.8%. Moreover, HBeAg seroconversion rates at 24 weeks posttreatment were significantly higher in patients with HBV RNA ≤ 200,000 copies/mL at baseline and HBV RNA ≤ 3000 copies/mL at week 12 (92.9%) versus others (12.5%) (All P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

In Conclusions, serum HBV RNA levels may serve as a novel tool for prediction of HBeAg seroconversion during therapy with pegylated interferon alfa-2a in HBeAg-positive CHB patients.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic; HBV RNA; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis B e antigens

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