Current Hepatitis Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 263–271 | Cite as

Interferon-based Therapy for e-antigen Negative Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection

  • Fayaz A. Handoo
  • Hamdan AlGhamdi
  • Faisal M. Sanai
  • Ibrahim H. Altraif
Global Perspectives: Middle East (SM Alavian and AI Sharara, Section Editors)


The prevalence of the hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-negative form of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) has increased over the years and is generally more difficult to treat. Pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) offers a durable response, finite treatment duration and absence of viral resistance. On the other hand, the risk of viral relapse for patients discontinuing nucleos(t)ide analogues remains a major concern for this form of treatment, raising the spectre of drug resistance and safety with long-term use. PEG-IFN remains one of the first-line drugs for a select group of CHB patients, and with its dual immunomodulatory and antiviral effect offers a realistic chance of durable off-treatment response and HBsAg clearance. PEG-IFN could be offered to patients with a high pre-treatment likelihood of response. In this article we aim to discuss the indications and goals of antiviral therapy in HBeAg-negative patients, the safety and efficacy of IFN-based therapy, the predictors of response, and its potential future directions.


Hepatitis B HBeAg-negative Peginterferon Treatment Durability Quantitative HBsAg HBV DNA Response predictors 



Hepatitis B virus


Chronic hepatitis B


Pegylated interferon


Hepatocellular carcinoma


Positive predictive value


Negative predictive value


Nucleos(t)ide analogues


Alanine aminotransferase


Upper limit of normal


Hepatitis B s antigen


Hepatitis B e antigen


Area under the curve



FA Handoo: none; H AlGhamdi: none, FM Sanai: board membership with Schering Plough, consultancy with Glaxo-Smith Kline, grants from Roche, receives honoraria and payment for development of educational presentations from Bristol Myers Squibb and Merck Sharpe & Dohme; IH Altraif: consultant for MSD-Merck, receives honoraria from Schering-Plough and royalties from GSK.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fayaz A. Handoo
    • 1
  • Hamdan AlGhamdi
    • 1
  • Faisal M. Sanai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ibrahim H. Altraif
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Hepatobiliary Sciences and Liver TransplantationKing Abdulaziz Medical City, King Fahad National Guard HospitalRiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  2. 2.Liver Disease Research CenterKing Saud UniversityRiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  3. 3.King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health SciencesRiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia

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