Korean J Hepatol > Volume 9(4); 2003 > Article
The Korean Journal of Hepatology 2003;9(4): 284-292.
Serum ALT and HBV DNA Levels in Patients with HBeAg-Negative Chronic Hepatitis B
Kyung Hwan Kim, M.D., Il Hwan Na, M.D., Jae Moon Cha, M.D., Yong Ki Cho, M.D., Se Young Park, M.D., Hyoung Pil Kim, M.D., Chul Soo Song, M.D., Jeong Heo, M.D.1 and Mong Cho, M.D.1
Department of Internal Medicine, Samsun Hospital, Pusan National University College of Medicine1, Busan, Korea
Abstract

Background/Aims:
HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B (CHB) has a poor long-term prognosis. Since no precise clinically relevant HBV thresholds are known in HBeAg-negative CHB, the decision to treat is difficult. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of serum HBV DNA and transaminase and to investigate the correlation of these values in patients with HBeAg-negative CHB.
Methods:
The study analyzed the sera from 82 patients with HBeAg-negative CHB, 61 men and 21 women. The mean age was 45 years. The patients were divided into two groups according to serum ALT levels: the patients with lower ALT level (n=52, UNL<ALT<2×UNL) and higher level (n=30, ALT≥ 2×UNL). The level of serum HBV DNA was determined by the Cobas Amplicor HBV Monitor™ (Roche).
Results:
The median serum HBV DNA level was 2.7×105 copies/mL in patients with HBeAg-negative CHB. The median serum HBV DNA level of patients with a higher ALT level (1.0×106 copies/mL) was significantly higher than that of patients with a lower ALT level (5.6×104 copies/mL)(p<0.001). The serum ALT level was correlated with serum HBV DNA levels in patients with HBeAg-negative CHB (r=0.416, p<0.001). The serum level of HBV DNA in patients with cirrhosis (median 2.0×105 copies/mL) did not differ from patients without cirrhosis (median 4.7×105 copies/mL).
Conclusions:
The level of serum HBV DNA was higher in patients with higher serum ALT level than it was in patients with lower serum ALT, and it was closely correlated with serum ALT levels in HBeAg-negative CHB.(Korean J Hepatol 2003;9:284-292)
KeyWords: Hepatitis/Viral/Chronic hepatitis B, HBeAg-negative, Inactive HBsAg carrier, HBV DNA

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