DNA-guided hepatitis B treatment, viral load is essential, but not sufficient

Marugán, Rafael Bárcena; Garzón, Silvia García
January 2009
World Journal of Gastroenterology;1/28/2009, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p423
Academic Journal
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global public health problem that concerns 350 million people worldwide. Individuals with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) are at increased risk of developing liver cirrhosis, hepatic de-compensation and hepatocellular carcinoma. To maintain undetectable viral load reduces chronic infection complications. There is no treatment that eradicates HBV infection. Current drugs are expensive, are associated with adverse events, and are of limited efficacy. Current guidelines try to standardize the clinical practice. Nevertheless, controversy remains about management of asymptomatic patients with CHB who are hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive with normal alanine aminotransferase, and what is the cut-off value of viral load to distinguish HBeAg-negative CHB patients and inactive carriers. We discuss in detail why DNA level alone is not sufficient to begin treatment of CHB.


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