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Ann Intern Med. 1984 Nov;101(5):613-6.

Survival in chronic hepatitis B. An analysis of 379 patients.


Survival data from 379 patients with chronic hepatitis B were analyzed to determine life expectancy for the patient from the time of first contact. One hundred twenty-one patients had chronic persistent hepatitis, 128 had chronic active hepatitis, and 130 had chronic active hepatitis with cirrhosis. The frequency of symptoms (p less than 0.001), stigmata of chronic liver disease (p less than 0.001), and liver function test abnormalities (p less than 0.001) increased as the histologic features worsened, whereas the percentage of patients with circulating hepatitis B DNA polymerase declined (p less than 0.001). Women were uncommon in our series and had less severe disease than men (p less than 0.02). Fifty-one patients had died by the time of this analysis. The estimated 5-year survival rates were 97% for patients with chronic persistent hepatitis, 86% for those with chronic active hepatitis, and 55% for those with chronic active hepatitis with cirrhosis. The usual cause of death was liver failure and its sequelae. A multivariate analysis found age of 40 years or more, total bilirubin level of 1.5 mg/dL or more, ascites, and spider nevi to be factors that identified patients at a higher risk of death. The prognosis for patients with chronic hepatitis B is similar to that for patients with chronic hepatitis of other causes.

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