Seto WK, Lam YF, Fung J, et al. Changes of HBsAg and HBV DNA levels in Chinese chronic hepatitis B patients after 5 years of entecavir treatment

Department of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Impact Factor: 3.5). 12/2013; 29(5). DOI: 10.1111/jgh.12476
Source: PubMed


Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) kinetics during long-term entecavir therapy has not been well investigated.
We described the cumulative serologic, virologic and biochemical outcomes and the occurrence of signature entecavir mutations among 222 Chinese treatment-naïve chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patient receiving entecavir for up to 5 years.
The median rate of HBsAg reduction over 5 years was 0.125 log IU/mL/year. Patients with high baseline HBV DNA levels (≥8 log copies/mL or ≥7.3 log IU/mL), when compared those with baseline HBV DNA <7.3 log IU/mL, had a significantly greater median rate of HBsAg reduction (0.178 and 0.102 log IU/mL/year respectively, p<0.001). The difference in HBsAg decline was most prominent in the first year (0.324 and 0.062 log IU/mL/year respectively, p<0.001). Greater median rates of HBsAg reduction were also found in hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive patients when compared to HBeAg-negative patients (0.144 and 0.098 log IU/mL/year, p=0.015), and in patients with high baseline HBsAg levels (≥3 log IU/mL), when compared with patients with low baseline HBsAg <3 log IU/mL (0.131 and 0.045 log IU/mL/year respectively, p=0.001). The 5-year cumulative rate of HBV DNA undetectability (<20 IU/mL) was 97.1%. There were two cases of entecavir resistance, resulting in a 5-year cumulative resistance rate of 1.2%.
In contrast to the profound HBV DNA suppression, long-term entecavir treatment only achieve slow decline in serum HBsAg. Although certain patient subgroups exhibit a more rapid HBsAg reduction, additional therapeutic agents are needed to increase the chance of HBsAg seroclearance in CHB.

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