Korean J Hepatol > Volume 15(2); 2009 > Article
The Korean Journal of Hepatology 2009;15(2): 179-192.
doi: https://doi.org/10.3350/kjhep.2009.15.2.179
Long-term clevudine therapy in nucleos(t)ide-naive and Lamivudine-experienced patients with hepatitis B virus-related chronic Liver diseases
Heon Ju Lee, M.D., Jong Ryul Eun, M.D., Chang Hyeong Lee, M.D.1, Jae Seok Hwang, M.D.2, Jeong Ill Suh, M.D.3, Byung Seok Kim, M.D.1, Byoung Kuk Jang, M.D.2 Departments of
Departments of Internal Medicine, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu; 1Departments of Internal Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu; 2Departments of Internal Medicine, Keimyung University College of Medicine, Daegu; 3Departments of Internal Medicine, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Gyeongju, Korea
Clevudine is an effective antiviral nucleoside analogue, but there are few data regarding its long-term effects, resistance, and safety. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term clinical efficacy of clevudine over a 1-year treatment period in nucleos(t)ide-naive and lamivudine-experienced chronic hepatitis B patients. Methods: Nucleos(t)ide-naive (group A, n=196) and lamivudine-experienced (serum hepatitis B virus, HBV DNA >2,000 copies/mL without resistant mutants at the start of clevudine therapy, group B, n=75) patients were included in this study. Basic clinical characteristics including age, sex, the presence of cirrhosis, laboratory data, and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBeAg) positivity were similar between the two groups. Pretreatment serum levels of HBV DNA were 7.4 and 6.6 log10 copies/mL (P<0.001). The mean treatment duration was 8 months for both groups (range for group A: 3-21 months; range for group B: 3-20 months). Genotypic analysis for resistant mutations in the reverse transcriptase of HBV was performed after viral breakthrough. Results: After 1 year of therapy, 75.0% and 51.9% of groups A and B, respectively, had HBV DNA levels of <2,000 copies/mL (P=0.032), and HBeAg seroconversion rates were 16.9% and 16.7%, respectively. The rates of viral breakthrough at 1 year were 10.0% (8/80) and 44.4% (12/27), respectively (P<0.001). Proven sites of mutation of HBV DNA polymerase in naive patients were, for example, L80I, L180M, A181V/T, M204I and V207I. Ten patients complained of prominent fatigue and revealed elevated serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and creatine phosphokinase (CPK). Two of these patients presented with severe myopathy from which they recovered completely after quitting clevudine. Conclusions: Clevudine is one of the recommended first-line medicines for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, but it is not free from resistance, particularly in patients with a history of previous lamivudine treatment, but also in naive patients. Clevudine should be avoided in previously lamivudine-exposed patients. In addition, reelevation of serum AST and CPK levels is not a rare occurrence, and close observation and follow-up tests are essential. (Korean J Hepatol 2009;15:179-192)
KeyWords: Clevudine; Lamivudine; Resistance; Hepatitis B; Myopathy

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