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Journal of Viral Hepatitis [journal]
- What about us? Recent advances in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C threaten to leave some parts of the world behind. [Journal Article]
- J Viral Hepat 2013 May; 20(5):367-8.
Summary. Directly acting antiviral (DAA) agents are currently revolutionizing the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection. The first generation of these agents have significant limitations including cost issues that are of particular concern in the developing world and a lack of efficacy in genotype 3 patients. Both of these concerns are of particular relevance in Pakistan.
- IL28RA polymorphism is associated with early hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment failure in human immunodeficiency virus-/HCV-coinfected patients. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- J Viral Hepat 2013 May; 20(5):358-66.
Due to the poor rate of response to hepatitis C virus (HCV) with pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment in HCV/HIV coinfected patients, key factors for predicting failure would be useful. We performed a retrospective study on 291 patients on HCV treatment, who had early virological response (EVR) data. IL28B and IL28RA polymorphisms were performed using the GoldenGate(®) assay. Unfavourable genotypes at IL28B (rs12980275 AG/GG and rs8099917 GT/GG) and an unfavourable allele at IL28RA (rs10903035 G) were associated with early treatment failure. However, only the rs12980275 AG/GG genotype and rs10903035 G allele remained independently associated with early failure in the overall population (OR = 4.15 (95% CI = 1.64-10.54) and OR = 2.00 (95% CI = 1.19-3.36), respectively) as well as in GT1/4 patients (OR = 5.07 (95% CI = 1.81-14.22) and OR = 2.03 (95% CI = 1.13-3.66), respectively). Next, a decision tree showed early treatment failure increased from 37.1% to 65.5% when the unfavourable rs12980275 AG/GG and rs10903035 AG/GG genotypes and HCV-RNA≥ 500.000 IU/mL were taken into account in GT1/4 patients. In contrast, the failure rate decreased from 37.1% to 11.9% when the favourable rs12980275 AA and rs10903035 AA genotypes were detected. The percentage of patients correctly classified was 78.4%, and AUROC was 0.802 ± 0.028. Regarding GT3 patients, the presence of the GCGCA haplotype (all unfavourable alleles) was associated with early treatment failure, while no association was observed for the IL28B polymorphisms. In conclusion, the IL28RA polymorphism was associated with early treatment failure independently of the IL28B SNPs. The combination of IL28B and IL28RA polymorphisms might be a valuable tool for predicting early treatment failure before starting HCV treatment.
- Hepatocyte destruction with enhanced collagen synthesis: characteristic feature of chronic hepatitis C patients on haemodialysis. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- J Viral Hepat 2013 May; 20(5):350-7.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is frequent among patients with end-stage renal disease on haemodialysis and is considered to be an independent risk factor for mortality in this setting. However, only a few of these patients are treated with anti-hepatitis virus treatment before the development of end-stage renal disease. Recent guidelines recommend identification of patients with good prognoses who are in need of interferon treatment, but we know little of patients who must be treated urgently. Ninety-eight patients on haemodialysis (48 anti-HCV-positive and 50 anti-HCV-negative patients) were enrolled in this study; HCV RNA was detected in 43 anti-HCV-positive patients. Univariate analysis and multivariate regression analysis were applied to identify variables independently associated with persistent HCV infection. Seven variables were proven to be associated with persistent HCV infection. Among them, type IV collagen 7S and N-terminal propeptide of type III procollagen (P-III-P) were defined as independent variables useful in distinguishing HCV RNA-positive patients from HCV RNA-negative patients with 0.91 sensitivity, 0.91 specificity, 0.89 positive predictive value and 0.93 negative predictive value. Our observations suggest that hepatocyte destruction with enhanced liver fibrosis is a characteristic clinical feature of persistent HCV infection. Type IV collagen 7S of ≥ 5 ng/mL and/or P-III-P of ≥ 5 U/mL would be useful markers to identify patients in need of interferon treatment, which supports the idea of the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes guidelines that a good prognosis in patients with HCV infection on haemodialysis should prompt consideration for IFN treatment when applicable.
- Maternal hepatitis B surface antigen status and incidence of pre-eclampsia. [Journal Article]
- J Viral Hepat 2013 May; 20(5):343-9.
The relationship between chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disorders remains unclear, and the impact of maternal HBV infection on the development of pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) and pre-eclampsia (PE) is also controversial. This retrospective cohort study was conducted to examine the relationship between maternal hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) status with PIH and PE in singleton pregnancies that delivered at 24 weeks of gestation and beyond. Among the 86 537 cases in the cohort, 10% were HBsAg positive, and overall 2.0% had PIH, of whom 56.3% developed PE. HBsAg-positive women had higher weight and body mass index (BMI), but lower incidences of advanced age, nulliparity, PIH (1.6% vs 2.0%, P = 0.007) and PE (0.8% vs 1.1%, P = 0.005). On multiple logistic regression analysis adjusting for the effects of nulliparity, advanced age, high BMI, and underlying renal, cardiac and autoimmune diseases, HBsAg carriage was associated with significantly reduced incidence of PIH (aOR 0.79, 95% CI 0.66-0.95) and PE (aOR 0.71, 95% CI 0.56-0.91). Our results indicate that maternal HBsAg carriage is independently associated with reduced PE. As chronic HBV infection alters the immune response of the individual, our observation could be related to enhanced maternal immunotolerance of the foetus and hence a reduction in the incidence of PE. The implications of our findings on the long-term health outcome of the infected women, from cardiovascular morbidity to malignancies, warrant further studies.
- Antiviral therapy decreases viral reactivation in patients with hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma undergoing hepatectomy: a randomized controlled trial. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- J Viral Hepat 2013 May; 20(5):336-42.
This prospective randomized controlled trial investigated whether antiviral therapy decreases the risk of perioperative viral reactivation in patients with hepatitis B virus-induced hepatocellular carcinoma. Patients with hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma undergoing liver resection were screened. Eighty-four patients with low viral load were randomly assigned to receive either antiviral treatment with telbivudine or no therapy. The primary outcome was reactivation of viral replication. Secondary outcomes included liver function recovery and postoperative liver insufficiency. A total of 15 patients developed HBV reactivation during the perioperative period, of which 8 (57.1%) were within the first week after hepatectomy. The incidence of viral reactivation during the perioperative period was 2.5% (1/40) in the antiviral-treated group, compared with 31.8% (14/44) in the control group [HR 0.07 (95%CI 0.01-0.65); P = 0.001]. Liver function recovery was achieved in 82.5% (33/40) patients in the antiviral group on day 30 after hepatectomy, compared with 91.0% (40/44) in the nonantiviral group [HR 1.23 (95%CI 0.98-2.55); P = 0.109]. A total of 7 patients (8.9%) had postoperative liver insufficiency in both groups, but there was no relevant difference between the two groups. Antiviral therapy with telbivudine can significantly decrease the perioperative reactivation of viral replication in patients with hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma undergoing liver resection. Antiviral therapy is an appropriate option for all patients with viral replication undergoing liver resection. (Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, number ChiCTR-TRC-0900615).
- Histological improvement of long-term antiviral therapy in chronic hepatitis B patients with persistently normal alanine aminotransferase levels. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- J Viral Hepat 2013 May; 20(5):328-35.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the histological outcomes of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients with persistently normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels after long-term antiviral therapy. Paired liver biopsies before and after lamivudine (LAM) treatment in CHB patients with normal and elevated ALT levels were compared. Histological response was defined as a 1-point decrease according to the Scheuer scoring system, without worsening of fibrosis between pretreatment and posttreatment biopsies. Among the 48 patients who underwent paired liver biopsies, 17 had persistently normal baseline ALT level and 31 had elevated ALT level. The median age of the patients was 44 years and 72.9% of the patients were male. The median duration of antiviral treatment was 44.5 months (range 14-104). Long-term follow-up of liver biopsies revealed that 82.4% of patients in the normal ALT group and 61.3% in the elevated ALT group had a baseline fibrosis score of 4, which was reduced to 17.6% and 38.7% after long-term therapy, respectively, indicating reversal of cirrhosis in a large proportion of both groups, especially in patients with normal baseline ALT levels. Long-term antiviral treatment could achieve significant histological improvement in CHB patients with fibrosis or cirrhosis, regardless of ALT level.
- Precore and core promoter mutants are associated with higher HBeAg seroconversion but low disease remission rates in HBV patients treated with nucleos(t)ide analogues. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- J Viral Hepat 2013 May; 20(5):322-7.
HBeAg seroconversion in HBV patients is considered an important event. We determined precore (PC) and base core promoter (BCP) mutations in 137 HBeAg-positive nucleos(t)ide analogues (NA) treated patients by INNO-LiPA HBV PreCore assay (Innogenetics). The majority of patients with nongenotype A had PC/BCP mutants present at baseline (P = 0.02). During 29 months of therapy, 45 patients achieved HBeAg seroconversion. Probability of HBeAg seroconversion was higher in patients with PC and/or BCP mutants (P = 0.01). After HBeAg seroconversion, patients with BCP mutants had more HBeAg relapse (P = 0.07), and PC mutants less often achieved HBV DNA < 2000 IU/mL (P = 0.07).
- Risk factors of HBV intrauterine transmission among HBsAg-positive pregnant women. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- J Viral Hepat 2013 May; 20(5):317-21.
Little is known about the risk factors associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) intrauterine transmission among HBsAg-positive mothers. We conducted a study in Taiyuan, China, including 1133 HBsAg-positive mothers and their babies. A total of 101 neonates had HBsAg and/or HBV DNA positive with an intrauterine transmission rate of 8.9%. Maternal menstrual irregularity (OR = 4.95, 95% CI: 1.71, 14.33) and severe nausea during the first trimester (OR = 1.86, 95% CI: 1.11, 3.09) were associated with an increased risk of intrauterine transmission, while caesarean delivery (OR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.20, 0.51) was associated with a decreased risk after adjusting for potential confounders. Maternal HBeAg positive was a strong independent predictor for intrauterine transmission (OR = 2.56, 95% CI: 1.54, 4.27). A positive association between maternal HBV DNA levels and intrauterine transmission was suggested. Maternal HBIG administration during pregnancy, family history of HBV infection and premature rupture of membranes was not associated with the risk of intrauterine transmission. The study confirmed that maternal HBeAg positive was a risk factor and caesarean delivery was a protective factor for intrauterine transmission. The new findings associated with menstrual irregularity and severe nausea during the first trimester warrant further investigation.
- Cure for immune-tolerant hepatitis B in children: is it an achievable target with sequential combo therapy with lamivudine and interferon? [Journal Article]
- J Viral Hepat 2013 May; 20(5):311-6.
We prospectively studied the HBsAg seroconversion with sequential combination therapy of lamivudine (LAM) and interferon (IFN) in hitherto untreatable 'immune-tolerant' chronic hepatitis B in children. In this case-control study, 28 children with immune-tolerant hepatitis B [HBsAg positive for >6 months with near normal aminotransferase level, minimal/no inflammation in liver histology and high viral load (HBV DNA>10(7) copies/mL)] were treated with LAM alone at 3 mg/kg/day for 8 weeks followed by LAM plus IFN alpha (5 MU/m(2) three times a week) for another 44 weeks. They were compared with 34 untreated children. HBV markers (HBsAg, HBeAg, anti-HBe, quantitative HBV DNA) were carried out at baseline, at the end of therapy and 6 monthly thereafter. The mean age was 5.9 ± 3.2 years and 24 were boys. End therapy response: HBe seroconversion was achieved in 11, and of these, five had complete response (HBsAg clearance), 11 did not respond and six had virologic response (DNA undetectable but no HBe seroconversion). Six months after therapy, 10 of the 11 (91%) originally seroconverted children remained seroconverted while one seroreverted. Six of the 28 (21.4%) children lost HBsAg and they remained HBsAg negative and anti-HBs positive on follow-up. After a mean follow-up of 21.1 ± 11.9 months, the status remained same in the responders but one of the nonresponders HBe seroconverted (39.3%). There were no serious side effects of therapy. It is possible to achieve a cure in more than one-fifth of immune-tolerant children with hepatitis B with the sequential combination of LAM and IFN.
- Characteristics of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma in patients with hepatitis B virus infection: clinicopathologic study of resected tumours. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- J Viral Hepat 2013 May; 20(5):306-10.
Recent efforts suggest an aetiological role of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). The purpose of this study was to clarify the clinicopathologic characteristics and surgical outcomes of patients with HBV-associated ICC. All patients with chronic HBV infection were identified from a database of patients with ICC that underwent surgical resection between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2006. Their clinicopathologic and survival characteristics were compared with ICC patients without chronic HBV infection. The age of the HBV-associated ICC patients tend to be younger than that of ICC patients without chronic HBV infection. HBV-associated ICC patients tend to have higher abnormal α-fetoprotein levels and lower abnormal serum carbohydrate antigen19-9 (CA19-9), r-glutamyltransferase (r-GT) and alkaline phosphatase levels. The pathologic features of the resected specimens revealed that HBV-associated ICC patients tended to be of the mass-forming type have a lower prevalence of lymphatic involvement and poorer tumour differentiation, and a higher prevalence of capsule formation and liver cirrhosis. Patients with HBV-associated ICC had a significantly better survival than patients without chronic HBV infection. The clinicopathological features of HBV-associated ICC patients showed significant differences from ICC patients without HBV infection. These tumours are characterized by the mass-forming growth pattern and appeared to have a more favourable prognosis.