Correlation between serum hepatitis B virus core-related antigen and intrahepatic covalently closed circular DNA in chronic hepatitis B patients
Article first published online: 21 NOV 2008
Copyright © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Medical Virology
Volume 81, Issue 1, pages 27–33, January 2009
How to Cite
Suzuki, F., Miyakoshi, H., Kobayashi, M. and Kumada, H. (2009), Correlation between serum hepatitis B virus core-related antigen and intrahepatic covalently closed circular DNA in chronic hepatitis B patients. J. Med. Virol., 81: 27–33. doi: 10.1002/jmv.21339
- Issue published online: 21 NOV 2008
- Article first published online: 21 NOV 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 AUG 2008
- Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Japan
- HBV DNA;
Nucleos(t)ide analogues are utilized for the treatment of chronic HBV infection, and HBe seroconversion and HBV DNA levels are commonly used as markers of viral status and as primary treatment endpoints. Recently, a new assay was prepared for the detection of serum HBV core-related antigen (HBcrAg), consisting of HBcAg, HBeAg, and p22cr, which is a precore protein from amino acid −28 to at least amino acid 150, by coding the precore/core region. In this study, we examined the correlation between serum HBcrAg concentration and viral status by the analysis of serum HBeAg, HBsAg, peripheral HBV DNA, and intrahepatic covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) in 57 chronic hepatitis B patients. Intrahepatic cccDNA was detected in all 57 patients, 42 patients were HBcrAg-positive, and serum HBcrAg concentration level was closely correlated with cccDNA. Additionally, positive HBcrAg concentration level results were observed in 6 out of 13 HBsAg seroclearance patients and 20 out of 31 HBV DNA-negative patients. Moreover, the correlation between HBcrAg and cccDNA in these 31 HBV DNA-negative patients was statistically significant (r = 0.482, P = 0.006). These data suggest that serum HBcrAg concentration is well correlated with intrahepatic cccDNA level, and that the measurement of serum HBcrAg may be clinically useful for monitoring intrahepatic HBV viral status, especially in patients under treatment with nucleos(t)ide analogues. J. Med. Virol. 81:27–33, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.