Korean J Hepatol > Volume 12(2); 2006 > Article
The Korean Journal of Hepatology 2006;12(2): 163-172.
Natural History of HBeAg Negative Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection; A Cohort Study
Chang Mo Moon, M.D., Do Young Kim, M.D., Ki Jun Song, Ph.D.1, Ja Kyung Kim, M.D., Hyun Woong Lee, M.D., Jung Min Lee, M.D., Ki Tae Yoon, M.D., Yong Han Paik, M.D., Dong Ki Kim, Ph.D.1, Kwang-Hyub Han, M.D., Chae Yoon Chon, M.D., Young Myoung Moon, M.D., and Sang Hoon Ahn, M.D.
Department of Internal Medicine, Institute of Gastroenterology, and Department of Biostatistics1, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
ABSTRACT
Background/Aims
The long-term virologic and biochemical changes in patients with HBeAg negative HBV infection, especially in Asia, remain unclear. To address this issue, we conducted a 3 year- retrospective, cohort study. Methods: A total of 157 patients with HBeAg negative HBV infection who were monitored without treatment were reviewed between January 1999 and March 2004. Those patients were followed up every 3 months with liver function tests and serologic tests. All patients were stratified into 3 groups; inactive carrier (IC), viremic carrier (VC) and chronic hepatitis (CH). Serum HBV DNA was measured by a hybridization assay (sensitivity: 1.4×105 genomes/mL, Digene Diagnostics, Silver Spring, USA). Results: The median age of enrolled patients was 42.7 years (M:F=2.3:1). By single time-point observations, the 3 year-cohort prevalence of HBeAg negative CH varied from 12.7 to 35.8% (median 20.7%) HBeAg negative CH was accumulated over time (P=0.002) and transition rates among three groups after 3 years of follow-up are as follows: IC to CH, 6.0%; IC to VC, 4.1%; VC to CH, 23.2%. VC seems to be a disease state in the middle of transition from IC to CH. Conclusions: We demonstrated the dynamic changing patterns of HBeAg negative CH with time, of which the change from IC or VC to CH was dominant. (Korean J Hepatol 2006;12:163-172)
KeyWords: Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis B, chronic; Hepatitis B e antigens; Carrier state; Prognosis

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