HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B: why do I treat my patients with pegylated interferon-alfa?
Article first published online: 23 DEC 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Special Issue: Proceedings of the 7th Paris Hepatitis Conference International Conference of the Management of Patients with Viral Hepatitis, 13–14 January 2014, Paris, France. Guest Editors: Patrick Marcellin and Tarik Asselah. The publication of this supplement was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Gilead, Janssen Therapeutics, Janssen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck, AbbVie, Novartis, Idenix and Alios.
Volume 34, Issue Supplement s1, pages 127–132, February 2014
How to Cite
Vlachogiannakos, J. and Papatheodoridis, G. V. (2014), HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B: why do I treat my patients with pegylated interferon-alfa?. Liver International, 34: 127–132. doi: 10.1111/liv.12404
- Issue published online: 23 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 23 DEC 2013
- HBV DNA ;
- hepatitis B;
- nucleos(t)ide analogue
HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is the most frequent and aggressive type of CHB. The current therapeutic options for CHB include pegylated-interferon-alfa (PEG-IFNα) and nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs). NAs are well-tolerated and safe agents that effectively inhibit viral replication, but they should be given as long-term, probably lifelong therapy, in particular in HBeAg-negative CHB. Thus, the finite, usually 48-week, duration is the main advantage of PEG-IFNα, providing sustained virological responses (SVR) off-therapy in approximately one-fourth of patients with HBeAg-negative CHB and often leading to HBsAg loss. However, the limited efficacy is the main factor restricting the use of PEG-IFNα in CHB and therefore identifying the predictors of response is of great clinical importance. No reliable baseline predictors of response to PEG-IFNα have been identified to date, but certain studies have identified satisfactory predictors of post-PEG-IFNα response using on-treatment serological markers, mostly HBsAg levels. In particular, in HBeAg-negative CHB patients mostly with genotype D a lack of decline in HBsAg levels and a lack of decrease in HBV DNA levels ≥2 log10 copies/ml at week-12 has a nearly 100% negative predictive value for SVR off-treatment and is now recommended as a stopping rule for early discontinuation of ineffective PEG-IFNα. Prolonging PEG-IFNα therapy to 96 weeks seems to provide higher SVR rates but the application and efficacy of this approach requires further study. The combination of PEG-IFNα with NAs, mostly lamivudine, has not resulted in any therapeutic benefit so far, but newer combined approaches with PEG-IFNα and NA(s) are currently under study.