Tenofovir for patients with lamivudine-resistant hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and high HBV DNA level during adefovir therapy§


  • This study was presented in part at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), San Francisco, CA, 2005.

  • Potential conflict of interest: Dr. van Bömmel and Dr. Zöllner received travel grants from Gilead. Dr. Berg consults for, advises, and is on the speakers' bureau for Gilead.

  • §

    See Editorial on Page 309


Incomplete virological response to adefovir dipivoxil (ADV) has been observed in patients with lamivudine-resistant hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and may be associated with developing resistance and disease progression. We therefore investigated whether the efficacy of viral suppression could be improved by replacing ADV with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). Twenty patients with chronic HBV infection (18 HBeAg+), viral breakthrough during lamivudine therapy, and persistent viral replication (>104 copies/mL) after 15 months of ADV monotherapy (range 4-28 months) were treated with TDF 300 mg daily and were retrospectively analyzed. A screening for nucleoside/nucleotide analogue resistance mutations within the HBV polymerase gene was performed in all patients by direct sequencing. Within a median of 3.5 months, application of TDF led to undetectable HBV DNA in 19 of 20 patients, as demonstrated by suppression of HBV DNA below the detection limit of 400 copies/mL. Initially elevated ALT levels had normalized in 10 of 14 patients by the end of follow-up (median 12 months, range 3-24 months). Four patients lost HBeAg, after 3, 4, 5, and 16 months, and one patient seroconverted to anti-HBs after 16 months of TDF therapy. Lamivudine-associated mutations (rtV173L, rtL180M, rtM204V/I) could be detected in 6 patients at baseline of TDF, but this obviously did not influence the response. ADV-resistant mutations were not detected. No side effects were reported. In conclusion, these preliminary observations strongly suggest that TDF might be a highly effective rescue drug for HBV-infected patients with altered responsiveness to treatment with lamivudine and ADV. (HEPATOLOGY 2006;44:318–325.)