Institute of Digestive Disease, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China; Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
On-treatment monitoring of serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA to guide treatment strategy for patients on entecavir has received little attention.
To investigate the predictive value of on-treatment HBV DNA levels for responses to entecavir.
This was a retrospective cohort study among nucleos(t)ide analogue-naïve HBV-infected patients on entecavir with a minimum follow-up of 2 years. Maintained virological suppression was defined as undetectable HBV DNA (<20 IU/mL) until the last visit. Genotypic drug resistance was screened by using the INNO-LiPA DR assay.
A total of 440 chronic hepatitis B patients (160 HBeAg-positive) followed for 34 ± 9 months were included. The cumulative probability of maintained virological suppression at year 1, 2 and 3 were 76.5%, 83.0% and 88.3% respectively. On multivariate analysis, lower baseline HBV DNA, undetectable HBV DNA at month 12 and negative HBeAg were the independent predictors of maintained virological suppression. M12 responders (who had undetectable HBV DNA at month 12) had higher probability of maintained virological suppression at 3 years (99.1%) as compared to non responders (57.5%; P < 0.001). The cumulative probability of HBeAg-seroconversion at year 1, 2 and 3 were 19.0%, 27.2% and 33.5% respectively. M12 responders had higher probability of HBeAg-seroconversion at 3 years (43.2%) than the non responders (19.0%; P = 0.003). M12 responders had lower probability of drug resistance at 3 years (0%) than the non responders (2.6%; P = 0.004).
Month 12 HBV DNA responses could predict the probability of maintained virological suppression, HBeAg-seroconversion and risk of drug resistance among patients on entecavir treatment at 3 years.