Treatment of hepatitis B
- Cite this article as:
- Wai, C. & Lok, A. J Gastroenterol (2002) 37: 771. doi:10.1007/s005350200129
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection affects approximately 350 million people worldwide. Treatment of chronic hepatitis B is aimed at sustained suppression of HBV replication and remission of liver disease. Currently, antiviral treatment is indicated for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive patients in the immune clearance phase, and for HBeAg-negative patients with evidence of active liver disease and continued high levels of HBV replication. Treatment is not recommended for patients in the immune tolerance phase or the inactive carrier state, due to lack of efficacy of current treatment. This review updates safety and efficacy data of interferon alpha and lamivudine in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Management strategies in different clinical scenarios and future treatments are also discussed.