Factors related to post-treatment relapse in chronic hepatitis B patients who lost HBeAg after lamivudine therapy

Kwan Soo Byun, Oh Sang Kwon, Ju Hyun Kim, Hyung Joon Yim, Yun Jung Chang, Jin Yong Kim, Jong Eun Yeon, Jong Jae Park, Jae Seon Kim, Young-Tae Bak, Chang Hong Lee

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Background and Aims: It is uncertain if a patient's lamivudine response after HBeAg loss is durable. In Korean chronic hepatitis B patients, the relapse rate is high after termination of lamivudine therapy for patients with HBeAg loss. We evaluated the factors related to relapse in chronic hepatitis B patients with HBeAg loss after lamivudine therapy. Methods: A total of 132 chronic hepatitis B patients, who initially had HBeAg and did not have decompensated features, were analyzed in this study. These patients lost the HBeAg after lamivudine therapy and then their therapy was stopped. Post-treatment serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), HBeAg, anti-HBe and hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA were monitored until relapse. Results: Seventy-five patients relapsed (cumulative relapse rate: 56% at 6 months). Upon univariate analysis, the factors of age, serum total bilirubin, presence of anti-HBe after HBeAg loss, and the duration of additional lamivudine therapy after HBeAg loss were associated with relapse. Upon multivariate analysis, older age, a higher serum total bilirubin and the shorter duration of additional lamivudine therapy were significant risk factors for relapse. Patterns of relapse were the re-elevation of ALT, re-emergence of HBV DNA (69 patients) and reappearance of HBeAg (55 patients). Conclusions: To prevent relapse in patients with chronic hepatitis B infection after lamivudine therapy, age and serum bilirubin level of patients as well as a prolonged duration of additional lamivudine therapy should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1838-1842
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jan 1



  • Chronic hepatitis B
  • Lamivudine
  • Relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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