Background/Aims: Data on the efficacy of adefovir dipivoxil (ADV) in elderly and cirrhotic patients with lamivudine-resistant (LAM-R) chronic hepatitis B are scarce. This retrospective cohort study evaluated the safety and efficacy of ADV in this specific patient population.
Methods: Sixty-eight cirrhotic LAM-R patients, of whom 19 (27.9%) were elderly (≥65 years of age) and nine had severe disease (two post-orthotopic liver transplantation, four pre-orthotopic liver transplantation and three decompensated), with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection received ADV. Virological and biochemical responses to the addition of ADV were analysed.
Results: At inclusion, all patients were receiving LAM; ADV was added. 75.4% of patients received a combination of LAM and ADV throughout this study for a median treatment duration of 12.6 months; the remainder received ADV with an overlap with LAM treatment for a median duration of 7.9 months. At the end of follow-up, 41.2% of patients had undetectable HBV DNA (≤2000 copies/ml) with a median reduction of 3.4 log10 copies/ml. Time to reach undetectable HBV DNA was dependent on baseline alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and HBeAg status. Normalization of serum ALT levels was observed in 55.2% (32/58) of patients. In patients who were HBeAg positive at baseline, HBeAg loss and seroconversion occurred in 23% (9/39) and 10% (4/39) respectively. No resistance mutations and no significant side effects were observed during the study period.
Conclusion: Adefovir dipivoxil provides effective and safe treatment in cirrhotic and elderly patients who failed LAM therapy.