Management of chronic hepatitis B infection.
Authors: Sundaram V, Kowdley K
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a global health problem that can lead to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Although HBV vaccination has reduced the prevalence Of HBV infection, the burden of disease remains high. Treatment with antiviral drugs reduces the risk of liver disease and the development of HCC, and it can even reverse liver fibrosis. However, challenges remain regarding optimal timing, as well as the modality and duration of treatment. Currently approved drugs include pegylated interferon and nucleos(t)ide analogs. Nucleos(t)ide analogs are better tolerated and provide excellent viral suppression with a low risk of antiviral resistance, but pegylated interferon offers the benefit of a finite duration of treatment. Monitoring of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) levels may help to predict the likelihood of response to treatment, particularly for pegylated interferon. Prolonged treatment is usually needed with oral antiviral agents, and relapse is common if treatment is discontinued. New treatments that result in sustained clearance of HBV DNA and the clearance of HBsAg are needed.
PMID: 26491030 [PubMed - in process]