Longitudinal changes of liver function and hepatitis B reactivation in COVID-19 patients with pre-existing chronic hepatitis B virus infection.Hepatol Res. 2020 Aug 06 [Online ahead of print]HR
With the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and high endemic levels of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection worldwide, it is urgent to investigate liver function changes of COVID-19 patients with chronic HBV infection, and how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in turn affects the course of chronic HBV infection.
We undertook a retrospective study based on 347 COVID-19 patients (21 vs. 326 with vs. without chronic HBV infection). With the propensity score matching (PSM) method, we yielded 20 and 51 matched patients for the HBV group and the non-HBV group, respectively.
At the end of follow-up, all of these 71 patients achieved SARS-CoV-2 clearance (P = 0.1). During the follow-up, 30% versus 31.4% in the HBV group versus non-HBV group progressed to severe COVID-19 (P = 0.97). After PSM, the longitudinal changes of median values for liver biochemistries were not significantly different between the two groups. In the HBV group versus non-HBV group, 35% (7/20) versus 37.25% (19/51) (P = 0.86) had abnormal alanine aminotransferase at least once during hospitalization, 30% (6/20) versus 31.37% (16/51) had abnormal aspartate aminotransferase (P = 0.91), 40% (8/20) versus 37.25% (19/51) had abnormal γ-glutamyltransferase (P = 0.83), and 45% (9/20) versus 39.22% (20/51) had abnormal total bilirubin levels (P = 0.91). Moreover, three patients in the HBV group had hepatitis B reactivation.
Liver dysfunction presented in COVID-19 patients with/without chronic HBV. Moreover, those COVID-19 patients co-infected with chronic HBV could have a risk of hepatitis B reactivation. It is necessary to monitor liver function of COVID-19 patients, as well as HBV-DNA levels for those co-infected with HBV during the whole disease course.