Natural history of chronic hepatitis B virus infection: What we knew in 1981 and what we know in 2005

Hyung Joon Yim, Anna Suk Fong Lok

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

372 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Remarkable progress has been made in our understanding of the natural history of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in the past 25 years. Availability of sensitive HBV DNA assays and application of sophisticated immunological techniques led to the recognition that HBV replication persists throughout the course of chronic HBV infection, and host immune response plays a pivotal role in HBV-related liver disease. Knowledge of the HBV genome organization and replication cycle led to the unraveling of HBV genotypes and molecular variants, which contribute to the heterogeneity in outcome of chronic HBV infection. The natural course of chronic HBV infection is now perceived as consisting of 4 phases: immune tolerance, immune clearance [hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis], inactive carrier state, and reactivation (HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B). Understanding the dynamic nature of chronic HBV infection is crucial in the management of HBV carriers and underscores the need for long-term monitoring. Accumulating evidence indicates that antiviral therapy can prevent progression of HBV-related liver disease, particularly among patients with sustained response. Newer antiviral therapies with improved efficacy and decreased risk of resistance may lead to a complete revision of the chapter on the natural history of chronic HBV infection on the occasion of the golden jubilee of HEPATOLOGY.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHepatology
Volume43
Issue number2 SUPPL. 1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes

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Chronic Hepatitis B
Virus Diseases
Hepatitis B virus
Hepatitis B e Antigens
Antiviral Agents
Liver Diseases
Immunologic Techniques
Carrier State
Immune Tolerance
Chronic Hepatitis
Virus Replication
Natural History
Genotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

Cite this

Natural history of chronic hepatitis B virus infection : What we knew in 1981 and what we know in 2005. / Yim, Hyung Joon; Lok, Anna Suk Fong.

In: Hepatology, Vol. 43, No. 2 SUPPL. 1, 01.02.2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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