Randomized Controlled Trial of Quinacrine for the Treatment of HBsAg-Positive Chronic Hepatitis

Authors

  • Henry C. Bodenheimer Jr.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02902; Divisions of Liver Diseases and Infectious Diseases, and Department of Biomathematical Sciences, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York, New York, New York, 10029
    • Henry C. Bodenheimer, Jr., M.D., Rhode Island Hospital, 593 Eddy Street, APC Room 423, Providence, Rhode Island 02902.
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  • Fenton Schaffner,

    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02902; Divisions of Liver Diseases and Infectious Diseases, and Department of Biomathematical Sciences, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York, New York, New York, 10029
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  • Salvatore Vernace,

    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02902; Divisions of Liver Diseases and Infectious Diseases, and Department of Biomathematical Sciences, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York, New York, New York, 10029
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  • Shalom Z. Hirschman,

    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02902; Divisions of Liver Diseases and Infectious Diseases, and Department of Biomathematical Sciences, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York, New York, New York, 10029
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  • Judith D. Goldberg,

    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02902; Divisions of Liver Diseases and Infectious Diseases, and Department of Biomathematical Sciences, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York, New York, New York, 10029
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  • Thomas Chalmers

    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02902; Divisions of Liver Diseases and Infectious Diseases, and Department of Biomathematical Sciences, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York, New York, New York, 10029
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Abstract

Several drugs which react with DNA decrease hepatitis B viral (HBV) DNA polymerase activity in vitro. Because such an alteration of viral replication, if produced in patients with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive chronic hepatitis, may lead to elimination of viral infection, we conducted a controlled trial of the use of the intercalating agent, quinacrine hydrochloride, in treatment of HBsAg-positive chronic hepatitis. No patient converted from HBsAg positive to negative during the trial and no consistent effect on HBV DNA polymerase activity was noted. Following treatment, elevated transaminase values and alterations of HBV markers were observed in several patients. Fluctuations of transaminase values and HBV markers may reflect alterations in host immunity and viral replication. Quinacrine alone is ineffective in therapy of chronic HBV infection. Additional study with intercalating agents, perhaps in conjunction with other drugs, is suggested.

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