• hepatitis B;
  • liver cirrhosis;
  • treatment;
  • nucleoside analogues;
  • hepatocellular carcinoma


Until very recently, hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated cirrhosis was often regarded as an irreversible condition. It is associated with strongly increased mortality and a high risk of the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Indeed, the incidence of HCC per 100 person years was shown to be 2–3.7 in patients with cirrhosis compared with only 0.3–0.6 in patients with active hepatitis B without cirrhosis and 0.02–0.2 in asymptomatic carriers. Liver transplantation was considered to be the only medical intervention, which could resolve this condition and which could improve the general condition of these patients. However, it is now becoming increasingly evident that long-term suppression of viral replication allows the regenerative potential of the liver to reverse even high grade liver fibrosis. For the management of HBV-related cirrhosis, it is therefore important to provide effective treatment and to identify and avoid risk factors for the development of cirrhosis and hepatic decompensation.