Two distinct serologic types of chronic hepatitis B have been identified, namely the "classical" HBeAg positive form and the "atypical" HBeAg negative, anti-HBe positive variant which is due to infection by a mutant HBV having a pre-core stop codon that makes the virus unable to produce HBeAg. The anti-HBe positive form is currently the prevalent type of chronic hepatitis B in the Mediterranean area, being associated with a more severe clinical course compared to HBeAg positive cases. The response to interferon therapy in patients with anti-HBe positive chronic hepatitis B has been recently investigated in control trials. These studies have shown that normalization of ALT with efficient suppression of virus activity can be achieved in 50-80% of patients while treated with interferon alpha indicating that also the pre-core mutant of HBV is sensitive to the antiviral effect of interferon. However, reactivation of hepatitis occurs in a variable percentage of initial responders when interferon is stopped. The probability of reactivation increases when the disease is of long duration, when cirrhosis is present and particularly if the pre-core mutant of HBV has become the predominant type of circulating virus, indicating that this HBV variant is more resistant to immunoclearance compared to wild type HBV.

Interferon therapy for the anti-HBe positive form of chronic hepatitis B

FATTOVICH, Giovanna
1994

Abstract

Two distinct serologic types of chronic hepatitis B have been identified, namely the "classical" HBeAg positive form and the "atypical" HBeAg negative, anti-HBe positive variant which is due to infection by a mutant HBV having a pre-core stop codon that makes the virus unable to produce HBeAg. The anti-HBe positive form is currently the prevalent type of chronic hepatitis B in the Mediterranean area, being associated with a more severe clinical course compared to HBeAg positive cases. The response to interferon therapy in patients with anti-HBe positive chronic hepatitis B has been recently investigated in control trials. These studies have shown that normalization of ALT with efficient suppression of virus activity can be achieved in 50-80% of patients while treated with interferon alpha indicating that also the pre-core mutant of HBV is sensitive to the antiviral effect of interferon. However, reactivation of hepatitis occurs in a variable percentage of initial responders when interferon is stopped. The probability of reactivation increases when the disease is of long duration, when cirrhosis is present and particularly if the pre-core mutant of HBV has become the predominant type of circulating virus, indicating that this HBV variant is more resistant to immunoclearance compared to wild type HBV.
hepatitis B virus; chronic hepatitis; anti-HBe positivity; interferon therapy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/2688
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