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Liver. 1981 Sep;1(3):222-9.

Acute viral hepatitis B with bridging necrosis: a follow-up study.


Forty patients with bridging necrosis (BN) on biopsies taken during the course of acute viral hepatitis B were included in a prospective study to assess the prognostic significance of this lesion. Of the 22 patients with complete clinical, biochemical and histological follow-up (histological follow-up 5-33 months), only two failed to eliminate HBs- and HBe-antigen in serum, a finding paralleled by transition to chronic active hepatitis and by the persistence of focal HBc- and HBs-antigen expression in liver tissue. Nineteen of 22 patients showed complete histological healing; one developed inactive cirrhosis. It is concluded that, in the setting of acute viral hepatitis B, the histological lesion of BN is of no particular prognostic significance, and that transition to chronic liver disease is much less frequent than has been assumed from previous studies of etiologically heterogeneous patient populations. Markers of poor prognosis are the failure of serological elimination of HBs- and HBe-antigen and the persistence of spotty expression of HBc- and HBs-antigen on immunofluorescence histology.

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