SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

We assessed prognostic factors in 115 patients with serologically defined fulminant hepatitis B. The diagnosis in each case was based on the finding of IgM antibody to the hepatitis B core antigen in serum. Multivariate analysis showed that factor V level (p < 0.001), patient's age (p = 0.001), absence of detectable HBsAg by radioimmunoassay (p = 0.06) and serum α-fetoprotein concentration (p = 0.07) were independent predictors of survival. The survival rate in the 21 patients in whom HBsAg was not detected was 47%, which was significantly higher than the survival rate of 17% observed in the 94 HBsAg-positive patients (p = 0.006). In patients with fulminant hepatitis B, the absence of HBsAg in serum as detected by radioimmunoassay has an independent, favorable prognostic value.