• S Van Hees
  • S Bourgeois
  • H Van Vlierberghe
  • T Sersté
  • S Francque
  • P Michielsen
  • D Sprengers
  • H Reynaert
  • J Henrion
  • S Negrin Dastis
  • J Delwaide
  • L Lasser
  • J Decaestecker
  • H Orlent
  • F Janssens
  • G Robaeys
  • I Colle
  • P Stärkel
  • C Moreno
  • F Nevens
  • T Vanwolleghem
  • Belgian NA Stop Study Group

BACKGROUND: Stopping nucleos(t)ide analogues (NA) after hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion is associated with high relapse rates in Asian patients, but data in Caucasian cohorts are scarce. Clinical course, outcomes and immunological aspects of chronic hepatitis B infections differ substantially between distinct ethnicities.

AIM: The aim of this study was to determine relapse rates, factors predicting relapse and clinical outcomes after nucleos(t)ide analogue cessation in a large, predominantly Caucasian cohort of chronic hepatitis B patients with nucleos(t)ide analogue-induced HBeAg seroconversion.

METHODS: This is a nationwide observational cohort study including HBeAg positive, mono-infected chronic hepatitis B patients with nucleos(t)ide analogue-induced HBeAg seroconversion from 18 centres in Belgium.

RESULTS: A total of 98 patients with nucleo(s)tide analogue-induced HBeAg seroconversion were included in the study. Of the 62 patients who stopped treatment after a median consolidation treatment of 8 months, 30 relapsed. Higher gamma-glutamyl transferase levels at both treatment initiation (HR 1.004; P = 0.001 per unit increment) and HBeAg seroconversion (HR 1.006; P = 0.013 per unit increment) were associated with an increased risk of clinically significant relapse in a multivariate Cox regression model. Treatment cessation led to liver-related death in 2 patients, of whom one showed a severe flare. Of the patients who continued treatment after HBeAg seroconversion, none relapsed or developed severe hepatic outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Treatment withdrawal in Caucasian chronic hepatitis B patients after nucleos(t)ide analogue-induced HBeAg seroconversion results in viral relapses in more than half of patients with potential fatal outcomes. These real-world data further lend support to preferentially continue NA treatment after HBeAg seroconversion until HBsAg loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1170-1180
Number of pages11
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

ID: 36943028