Liver biopsy is frequently required in HBeAg-negative disease to determine the stage of fibrosis. It can be difficult to distinguish cohorts with undetectable HBeAg who may have varying degrees of fibrosis due to different stages of disease. We have assessed the utility of transient elastography (TE) to evaluate differences in HBeAg-negative patients. A total of 220 HBsAg-positive individuals were studied: 125 (group 1) had an inactive HBsAg carrier state and 95 (group 2) were HBeAg-negative, anti-HBe-positive patients with persistently or intermittent elevation of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and/or HBV DNA >10(5) copies/mL. Mean stiffness was 4.83 +/- 1.2 kPa in group 1 vs 8.53 +/- 6 kPa in group 2 (P < 0.001); statistically significant differences were also found between AST/ULN ALT/ULN ratios, HBV DNA in group 1 vs group 2, respectively (P < 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, the only variable independently associated with the stage of fibrosis was the stiffness. This study shows that mean hepatic stiffness by elastography is significantly lower in patients with inactive hepatitis B compared to those with HBeAg-negative disease. The procedure is a useful adjunct to diagnosis to confirm a clinical pattern of disease, and for more selective use of liver biopsy before considering antiviral therapy.
|Numero di pagine||6|
|Rivista||Journal of Viral Hepatitis|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2009|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes