Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Education and Research Hospital, Gastroenterology Clinic, Ankara, Turkey.
Background: In the follow up of chronic hepatitis B infection (HBV), a significant correlation between quantitative HBsAg titer measurement and HBV DNA level, and moreover with intrahepatic covalently closed circular DNA was already shown. However, besides their impact on long-term follow up, they are really expensive methods, and not available widespread. We aimed to investigate the utility of qualitative measurement of HBsAg titer in prediction of virologic response at the end of the first year of anti-viral treatment in chronic HBV infection.
Material and methods: A total of 70 patients receiving anti-viral therapies for chronic HBV infection were included into the study. The patients were evaluated according to Hbe Ag status and response to treatment. The determinations used in the study (biochemical, virologic responses, primary non-response) were accepted as it was described in AASLD.
Results: Qualitative HBsAg titer increased significantly in both HBeAg positive and negative patients (p values 0.002 and < 0.000). Increasing of HBsAg titer in first three months is more dramatic in responder group, however the difference was disappeared at the sixth and twelve moths on follow up. Similarly, a fast increasing in anti-HBe titer in HBeAg negative chronic HBV patients was related with higher response at the end of first year therapy. However, the changings at the 12th month of anti-viral treatment were similar in both responder and non-responder groups.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the fast increase in qualitative measurement of HBsAg titerseemed to be a predictor of higher anti-viral medication success in chronic HBV patients. However, this meaningful increasing was disappeared on the follow up, particularly after the six months examination.