Occult Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Treated With Antiviral Therapy
Hepatitis Monthly: November 1, 2012,
12 (11); 7292
November 30, 2012
Article Type: Research Article
July 1, 2012
July 28, 2012
A, et al. Occult Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Treated With Antiviral Therapy,
Occult hepatitis B virus infection (OBI) is defined as the presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in the liver and/or in the serum of patients with negative results of hepatitis B s antigen (HBsAg) test with or without serological markers of previous viral exposure. The impact of OBI in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is still unclear.
The Aim of this study was to assess OBI prevalence and its potential implications on treatment outcome in a cohort of patients with CHC underwent standard antiviral therapy.
Patients and Methods:
Baseline serum samples from 137 HBsAg-negative CHC patients treated with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin (73 Responders/74 Non Responders),were retrospectively analyzed for HBV status.
Seventy-three patients (53.3%) showed markers of previous exposure to HBV. HBV DNA was detected in 2 of 137 serum samples (1.5%), both carrying HBV antibodies. Liver biopsies and post-therapy sera were available for 35 patients (12 Responders/23 Non Responders). HBV DNA sequences were found in 13 of 35 specimens (37.1%), all of patients with HBV DNA negativity in basal and post-therapy serum samples. Among OBI-positive patients, 5 (38.5%) carried serological markers of HBV infection. Regarding therapy outcome, in the OBI-positive group there were 5 of 13 (38.5%) sustained virological responders (SVR) compared to 7 of 22 (31.8%) in the OBI-negative one.
Despite the high prevalence rate of liver HBV DNA in patients with CHC, SVR was not affected by occult HBV infection.
Hepatitis C, Chronic; Hepatitis B Virus; Hepatitis C; Infection
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