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J Hepatol. 2003 Jun;38(6):818-26.

Lamivudine and 24 weeks of lamivudine/interferon combination therapy for hepatitis B e antigen-positive chronic hepatitis B in interferon nonresponders.

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Division of Hepatology, University of Miami, Jackson Medical Towers, 1500 N.W. 12th Avenue, Suite 1101, Miami, FL 33136, USA.



Lamivudine is effective in treatment-naive patients with chronic hepatitis B, but its role in interferon nonresponders has not been described. We assessed lamivudine treatment, with or without added interferon, in patients with hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis B who had failed interferon therapy previously.


Patients were randomized to lamivudine (100 mg) or placebo for 52 weeks or to a 24-week regimen of lamivudine plus interferon. Primary treatment comparisons were at week 52, with a 16-week posttreatment follow-up period. Measurements included histology (primary endpoint), HBeAg response, normalization of alanine aminotransferase, reduction of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA, and safety.


Among 238 patients, histologic response was significantly more common in patients treated with lamivudine (52 versus placebo 25%, P=0.002) or the combination regimen (32%, P=0.01). HBeAg loss was also more common with lamivudine (33 versus 13 versus 21%), as were virologic and alanine aminotransferase responses. Among 28 subjects with HBeAg loss/seroconversion, 71% had durable responses 16 weeks posttreatment.


Lamivudine for 52 weeks is as effective in interferon nonresponders as in previously reported treatment-naive patients; however, a combination of lamivudine for 24 weeks and interferon for 16 weeks was not effective in this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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