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ABSTRACT: The incidence of Hepatitis B has significantly declined since the introduction of an HBV vaccination program. The aim of this study was to investigate recent clinical features of acute viral hepatitis B (AVH-B) in Korea. A total of 2241 patients with acute viral hepatitis were enrolled and their data were collected from nine medical-centers between January 2006 and December 2009. One hundred nineteen (5.3%) of the 2241 were diagnosed as AVH-B. Among 78 patients with AVH-B whose data were analyzed, 50 were male, and the mean age was 38.6 years. In an initial test, mean AST, ALT and total-bilirubin levels were 1296.2 IU/L, 2109.6 IU/L and 9.3 mg/dl, respectively. Positivity frequencies for HBeAg and anti-HBe were 55.1% and 67.9%, respectively, and the mean HBV DNA level was 5.2 log10 copies/ml. The mean length of hospitalization was 11.6 days. During follow-up, AST, ALT and total bilirubin levels were normalized or near-normalized in all patients without serious complications. Sixty-three of 66 (95.4%) patients showed HBsAg loss and 37 (56.1%) patients showed HBsAg seroconversion. Only 3 patients (4.5%) showed persistent hepatitis B viremia. There was no case of death or liver transplantation. Nine patients (11.3%) had received anti-viral agents and their clinical outcomes were not significantly different from those of patients treated without antiviral agents. The prevalence of AVH-B among acute hepatitis patients is relatively low in Korea. AVH-B infection can be cured without complications in almost all patients, regardless of antiviral treatment.The Korean journal of hepatology. 12/2011; 17(4):307-12.
Soon Chun Hyang University HospitalSeoul, Seoul, South Korea