1*Department of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning †Department of Infectious Diseases, The Third Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou ‡Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Control (Sun Yat-Sen University), Ministry of Education, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China §Department of Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
To investigate the relationship between relapse and the levels of the residual amount of HBV DNA in serum at cessation in chronic hepatitis B patients meeting 2008 Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) nucleos(t)ide analogs (NAs) cessation criteria.
A total of 72 chronic hepatitis B patients who took NAs and had reached 2008 APASL cessation criteria entered the study. Patients were followed up for 6 months or longer after antiviral therapy was stopped. Serum HBV DNA level at cessation was detected by a highly sensitive polymerase chain reaction assay with detection limitation of 2 IU/mL.
Of all the 72 patients, 42 patients (65.3%) relapsed after NA cessation. The detectable rate of the trace amount of HBV DNA at cessation was 41.7% by highly sensitive polymerase chain reaction reagents. The detectable rate of patients with consolidation treatment duration of <18 months was higher than that with consolidation duration of ≥18 months (47.5% vs. 15.4%, P=0.034), and the detectable rate of patients with HBeAg seroconversion within 6 months of treatment was lower than that of ≥6 months (25.0% vs. 61.5%, P=0.036). The residual amount of HBV DNA and detectable rate at cessation showed significant differences between relapsed and nonrelapsed patients (130.4±420.90 vs 44.6±155.16 IU/mL, P=0.004; 55.3% vs. 16.0%, P=0.001). The cutoff value predicting relapse was 2.24 IU/mL, with a sensitivity of 0.553 and specificity of 0.840.
Residual amount of HBV DNA in serum at NA cessation is associated with HBV relapse. The cutoff value predicting relapse was 2.24 IU/mL, with a sensitivity of 0.553 and specificity of 0.840.