, Volume 59, Issue 10, pp 2580-2587
Date: 21 May 2014

High Risk of Hepatitis B Virus Reactivation in Nucleos(t)ide Analogue-Induced Hepatitis B e Antigen Seroconverters Older Than 40 Years

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Abstract

Background

A recent study showed that chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers with nucleos(t)ide analogue (NA)-induced hepatitis B antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion occurring before the age of 30 years have a higher risk of HBV reactivation.

Aim

To compare the risk of HBV reactivation and HBeAg seroreversion between patients with spontaneous and NA-induced HBeAg seroconversion.

Methods

A total of 135 and 251 non-cirrhotic patients with NA-induced and spontaneous HBeAg seroconversion, respectively, were analyzed.

Results

NA-induced HBeAg seroconverters faced higher risks of HBV reactivation and HBeAg seroreversion than spontaneous HBeAg seroconverters (P < 0.001). In spontaneous HBeAg seroconverters, age at HBeAg seroconversion, sex, HBV DNA levels before HBeAg seroconversion, HBV genotype C, and pre-S deletions were independent predictors of HBV reactivation. In NA-induced HBeAg seroconverters, only age at baseline was an independent predictor of HBV reactivation. To determine whether the difference in the incidence of HBV reactivation or HBeAg seroreversion between two groups was age-specific, we analyzed these patients according to their age at HBeAg seroconversion (20–29, 30–39, and ≥40 years). Our data showed that NA-induced HBeAg seroconversion was an independent predictor of HBV reactivation and HBeAg seroreversion than spontaneous HBeAg seroconversion in patients older than 40 years at HBeAg seroconversion, but not in patients between 20–29 and 30–39 years of age.

Conclusions

NA-induced HBeAg seroconverters are associated with higher risks of HBV reactivation and HBeAg seroreversion compared to spontaneous HBeAg seroconverters, especially in patients who are older than 40 years at HBeAg seroconversion.