Background/Aim: Patients with an occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection undergoing deep immunosuppression are potentially at risk of HBV reactivation. In order to assess whether a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for HBV DNA in serum could be used to predict the reactivation of an occult HBV infection, we performed a retrospective study in a cohort of Sicilian patients with oncohaematological diseases. Methods: We studied by a highly sensitive ad hoc nested PCR for serum HBV DNA 75 HBsAg-negative oncohaematological patients requiring chemotherapy. Results: Thirty-three patients (44%) were HBV seronegative (anti-HBc and anti-HBs negative) and 42 patients (56%) were HBV seropositive (anti-HBc and/or anti-HBs positive). Baseline serum HBV DNA was positive in nine out of 33 HBV-seronegative patients and in nine out of 42 HBV-seropositive patients (27.3 vs. 21.4%; P=NS). HBsAg seroconversion was observed in five out of 33 seronegative vs. six out of 42 seropositive patients (15 vs. 14%, P=0.9), and in five out of 18 HBV DNA-positive vs. six out of 57 HBV DNA-negative patients (27.7 vs. 10.6%P=0.11). Hepatitis C virus infection was found in 18 patients (24.3%), although with no correlation to HBV serological status, presence of serum HBV DNA or frequency of HBsAg seroconversion. Conclusions: In oncohaematological patients undergoing chemotherapy, highly sensitive serum HBV DNA testing at baseline has a 28% predictive ability to forecast HBsAg seroconversion in HBV DNA-positive patients, and a 90% ability to forecast persistent HBsAg negativity in HBV DNA-negative patients, a better performance than serological tests.
|Numero di pagine||7|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2009|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes