Objective: Little clinical data are available regarding the optimal treatment of patients who harbour adefovir-resistant HBV. Design: In this multicentre trial, patients who had adefovir-resistant HBV with serum HBV DNA levels >60 IU/mL were randomised to receive tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF, 300 mg/day) monotherapy (n=50) or TDF and entecavir (ETV, 1 mg/day) combination therapy (TDF/ETV, n=52) for 48 weeks. All who completed 48 weeks in either group received TDF monotherapy for 48 additional weeks. Results: Baseline characteristics were comparable between groups, including HBV DNA levels (median, 3.38 log10 IU/mL). All patients had adefovir-resistant HBV mutations; rtA181V/T and/or rtN236T. The proportion of patients with HBV DNA <15 IU/mL was not significantly different between the TDF-TDF and TDF/ETV-TDF groups at weeks 48 (62% vs 63.5%; p=0.88) and 96 (64% vs 63.5%; p=0.96). The mean change in HBV DNA levels from baseline was not significantly different between groups at week 48 (-3.03 log10 IU/mL vs -3.31 log10 IU/mL; p=0.38). Virological breakthrough occurred in one patient on TDF-TDF and two patients on TDF/ETV-TDF over 96 weeks; all were attributed to poor drug adherence. At week 96, five and two patients in the TDF-TDF and TDF/ETV-TDF groups, respectively, retained some of their baseline resistance mutations (p=0.44). None developed additional resistance mutations. Safety profiles were comparable in the two groups. Conclusions: In patients with adefovir-resistant HBV and multiple-drug failure, TDF monotherapy provided a virological response comparable to that of TDF and ETV combination therapy, and was safe up to 96 weeks. Trial registration number: NCT01639066.
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