Department of Hepatology, Toranomon Hospital, 2-2 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clearance of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is considered the ultimate goal in chronic hepatitis B treatment. One treatment option is long-term nucleot(s)ide analog (NA) therapy. We followed a group of long-term NA therapy patients to evaluate the efficacy of this treatment in promoting clearance and longitudinal declines of HBsAg.
The study included 791 NA therapy patients who received lamivudine as their first drug. At the baseline, 442 patients were hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)+ and 349 were HBeAg-. All analyses were performed after separating the HBeAg+ and HBeAg- cohorts. Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine which factors were associated with HBsAg clearance.
HBsAg clearance was observed in 18 (4.1 %) of the HBeAg+ patients and 20 (5.7 %) of the HBeAg- patients at baseline, giving seroclearance rates of 6.4 and 6.9 %, respectively, over the nine-year study period. HBsAg clearance was influenced by several independent factors that varied according to HBeAg cohort. For HBeAg+ patients, these included previous interferon therapy, infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype A, a ≥0.5 log IU/mL decline in HBsAg level within six months, and clearance of HBeAg at six months. For HBeAg- patients, these included infection with HBV genotype A, decline in HBsAg at six months, and a baseline HBsAg level of <730 IU/mL.
This study suggests that both direct antiviral potential and host immune response are needed to achieve HBsAg clearance by NA therapy. Viral genotype strongly influenced HBsAg clearance during NA therapy.