LONDON — Hepatitis B surface antigen levels differ significantly between phases of chronic hepatitis B virus infection, according to a poster presented here at The International Liver Congress.
The hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) levels decrease progressively from chronic infection to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, and significant correlations are found between serum HBsAg and HBV DNA, according to Da Wu Zeng, MD, of the Liver Center at First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University in Fuzhou, China.
Researchers from China conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional study of 838 treatment-naive patients to evaluate HBsAg levels across the natural history of HBV infection, including late complications.
Patients in the study were diagnosed with chronic HBV infection at First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University between 2009 and 2012. They were classified into six groups: 1) immunotolerance; 2) immunoclearance; 3) low replicative; 4) negative hepatitis “e” phases; 5) liver cirrhosis; 6) and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Main outcome measures included serum HBsAg, hepatitis B “e” antigen (HBeAg), HBV DNA, total bilirubin, albumin, alanine and aspartame aminotransferase, and quantitative correlation of HBsAg with HBV DNA.
The researchers found that HBsAg levels declined significantly between clinical phases of infection (all P<.001) and were significantly lower in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis compared with compensated liver cirrhosis (2.9 vs. 3.3, P<.001).
However, these levels were not significantly different between early vs. advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, according to the findings.
“Significant positive correlations were observed between serum HBsAg and HBV DNA at immunoclearance and HBeAg-negative phases, compensated and decompensated liver cirrhosis and advanced but not early hepatocellular carcinoma (all P<.001),” Zeng and colleagues wrote. “HBsAg and HBV DNA were significantly higher in HBeAg-positive patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (P<.001).”
For more information:
Zeng DW. Abstract #P643. Presented at: International Liver Congress; April 9-13, 2014; London.
Disclosure: Zeng reports that he may have relevant financial disclosures.