Do we need to determine viral genotype in treating chronic hepatitis B?


William Graham E. Cooksley, Discipline of Medicine, University of Queensland, RoyalBrisbane Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia 4029. E-mail:


Summary.  Many studies have attested that not only does HBV genotype influence the outcome of the disease but it also influences the outcome of therapy with interferons and pegylated interferons, with genotype A doing better than genotype D in Caucasians and genotype B better than genotype C in Asians. However, the guidelines from three regional bodies – AASLD, APASL and EASL – all stop short of recommending genotyping as part of the management of chronic hepatitis B. The recommendations, however, from several national organizations as well as from individual reviewers suggest that genotyping is essential to detect patients in whom the use of pegylated interferon will give a high likelihood of response with a finite course of therapy and avoid the disadvantages of nucleoside analogues with their viral resistance. It is concluded that determination of HBV genotype should form part of the management in treating chronic hepatitis B.