Clinical profile of hepatitis B virus chronic infection in patients of Brazilian liver reference units
To assess data about chronic forms of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Brazilian reference units, the Brazilian Society of Hepatology (SBH) performed a survey, with its associates spread throughout the country.
SBH members were contacted by electronic mail. They were asked for data from their liver units regarding chronically infected HBV patients between January 2005 and September 2007. All subjects with HBV surface antigenemia lasting more than 6 months were eligible. Patients who died after January 2005 were also included.
Data from 24 units of 17 cities (12 Brazilian states) were obtained. These corresponded to 3,913 patients. Mean age was 39 years, ranging from 1 to 84 years. The northern region had the lowest mean age (35 years) and the southern region the highest (43 years). Most of the sampled people were white; 1,448 of 3,614 patients had chronic hepatitis B. Most of them were HBeAg negative (1.4:1). There were 1,695 (46.9%) inactive carriers of 3,614 HBV-infected patients and other 69 (1.9%) were considered as having immune-tolerant status. Hepatitis D coinfection was common among the Amazonian sample (n = 369).
This large sample study shows important tendencies of chronic hepatitis B infection in Brazilian reference units, such as HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B cases overwhelming wild-type strains infected cases. Besides, hepatitis D occurs only among the Amazonian patients.
KeywordsChronic hepatitis Hepatitis B virus Bloodborne infection Brazil South America
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