Serum HBeAg quantitation during antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis B
Article first published online: 7 DEC 1998
Copyright © 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Medical Virology
Volume 53, Issue 3, pages 282–287, November 1997
How to Cite
Heijtink, R. A., Kruining, J., Honkoop, P., Kuhns, M. C., Hop, W. C. J., Osterhaus, A. D. M. E. and Schalm, S. W. (1997), Serum HBeAg quantitation during antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis B. J. Med. Virol., 53: 282–287. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9071(199711)53:3<282::AID-JMV18>3.0.CO;2-J
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 1998
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 1998
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 JUL 1997
- hepatitis B virus;
- antiviral therapy;
Hepatitis Be antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion is considered the principal short-term goal of antiviral therapy in chronic hepatitis B. To test whether the pre- and per-treatment HBeAg quantitation has a higher predictive value than that of hepatitis B virus DNA (HBV-DNA) quantitation for the outcome of antiviral therapy in chronic hepatitis B. A quantitative measurement of HBV-DNA and HBeAg (AxSYM HBe 2.0 Quantitative, Abbott Laboratories) was undertaken in serial serum samples from 30 patients with 16-week interferon-α (IFN-α) treatment (follow-up 36 weeks; 14 responders) and from 15 patients with 24-week lamivudine treatment (follow-up 24 weeks; 2 responders).
In the group of interferon-treated patients, the median pretreatment HBV-DNA level was significantly lower in responders compared to nonresponders (P = 0.02); the difference in median HBeAg level was not significant. However, the percentage of response was significantly related (P = 0.003) to the magnitude of decline in HBeAg level between the start of therapy and week 4. This phenomenon was not observed for HBV-DNA. Using multivariate analysis, it was found that the fall of HBeAg levels between weeks 0 and 4 was the most important independent predictor of response. In the group of lamivudine treated patients, the rapid decline in HBV-DNA (>90%) in 12 patients at week 4 had no relation to HBeAg seroconversion. In contrast, the fall in HBeAg-level (one patient with >50% reduction at week 4 seroconverted) appears to be predictive. Quantitation of HBeAg at start and early during therapy may have clinically important predictive value for long-term response to antiviral therapy. J. Med. Virol. 53:282–287, 1997. © 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc.