Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology / 1996 / Article

Hepatology | Open Access

Volume 10 |Article ID 683012 |

Jean-Pierre Villeneuve, Bernard Willems, "Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B with Interferon: Long Term Follow-Up", Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, vol. 10, Article ID 683012, 5 pages, 1996.

Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B with Interferon: Long Term Follow-Up

Received29 Mar 1995
Revised26 Jun 1995


The aim of treatment of chronic hepatitis B with interferon is to induce a transition from the replicative phase of the disease to a nonreplicative state, with loss of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-DNA, seroconversion from hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive to anti-HBe antibody-positive, and normalization of liver enzymes. The authors’ experience in 22 patients with chronic hepatitis B treated with recombinant human interferon alpha-2b (5 MU/m2 subcutaneously three times/week for 16 weeks) is reported. Before treatment all patients had been positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and HBeAg for at least six months, had abnormal serum aminotransferases, had no evidence of hepatitis D or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and had compensated liver disease. Eleven of 22 patients (50%) responded to treatment with loss of HBeAg and appearance of anti-HBe antibodies, and normalization of serum aminotransferases within six months of interferon cessation. Patients were followed for 3.4±1.2 years after treatment. Ten of 11 responders remained negative for HBeAg and HBV-DNA; one patient relapsed and responded to a second course of interferon with loss of HBeAg and HBV-DNA. Seven of the 11 nonresponders underwent spontaneous (n=5) or retreatment-induced (n=2) seroconversion from HBeAg to anti-HBe and loss of HBV-DNA during follow-up. The other four nonresponders remained positive for HBeAg and HBV-DNA; three of the four progressed to decompensated liver disease. It is concluded that interferon is an effective treatment of chronic hepatitis B in 50% of patients with features similar to those used as selection criteria in the present study. These criteria probably also identify patients who have a high likelihood of spontaneous HBeAg to anti-HBe seroconversion, and it is possible that the benefit of interferon is its acceleration of this seroconversion.

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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