Seroclearance of Hbsag in Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Patients on Lamivudine Therapy: A 10 Year Experience

  •  Shahnaz Sali    
  •  Muayad Merza    
  •  Sina Saadat    
  •  Nazik Mustafa    
  •  Farzam Queiky    
  •  Davood Yadegarynia    


INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to determine hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) seroclearance rate among patients treated with lamivudine at a specialized tertiary care referral hospital in Tehran, Iran.

METHODS: All patients on lamivudine (biovudin®) therapy at a dose of 100 mg/day, who showed seroclearnace between March 2001 and September 2011 were recruited. The main evaluation parameters were duration of HBsAg seroclearance and duration of HBsAg seroconversion. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were evaluated using standard methods. HBsAg seroclearance was defined as two consecutive negative serums HBsAg at least 6 months apart, whereas HBsAg seroconversion was defined as the disappearance of serum HBsAg and the presence of anti-HBs for >6 months.

RESULTS: A total of 203 chronic HBV patients treated with lamivudine at a dose of 100 mg/day were included in the study. HBsAg seroclearance and seroconversion were observed in 11 patients after the initiation of the lamivudine therapy. Overall, in lamivudine responder patients, the mean time to HBsAg seroclearance was 26.90±10.93 months (range: 12-48 months). Furthermore, the responders showed seroconversion after a mean time of 26.90±11.08 months from the initiation of lamivudine therapy. When comparing the characteristics of those who have responded to lamivudine and those who have not responded, baseline HBV-DNA levels was significantly lower in responder than non responder patients (p<0.001). Meantime, there was no difference in age, sex, baseline ALT, AST and liver biopsy score between lamivudine responder and lamivudine non-responder patients.

CONCLUSION: Despite introduction of tenofovir and entecavir as first line treatment for chronic HBV infection, lamivudine remains to be a low cost, safe and effective drug for HBsAg seroclearnace.

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