29 March 2018 : Clinical Research
Clinical Characteristics and Correlation Analysis of Subjects with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Infection and Sustained Low Levels of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg)Jun Cheng12ABCDEF, Yuzhu Dai2BCD, Li Yan2BCD, Huajun Zhou2BCD, Xujian Xu3BCD, Changgui Sun2ABCDFG*, Zhongyong Wang1BCD
Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR1826-1835
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics of individuals with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection with persistent low levels of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and to undertake a correlation analysis of the clinical characteristics.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study included 1,204 subjects with chronic HBV infection. Serum HBsAg, HBV envelope antigen (HBeAg), and HBV core antigen (HBcAg) levels were measured using the chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA) and the neutralization test. HBV DNA was measured using real-time fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-FQ-PCR).
RESULTS: There were 1,023 subjects in the high-level HBsAg group (HBsAg level ≥10 IU/mL) and 181 subjects in the low-level HBsAg group (HBsAg level <10 IU/mL). In the low-level HBsAg group, the main serological pattern (93.37%) was HBsAg and HBeAg and HBcAg-positive (HBV-M2), and the asymptomatic carrier (ASC) status was 98.34%. The low-level HBsAg group had a lower HBV DNA-positive rate compared with the high-level HBsAg group (40.33% vs. 75.07%), with a normal distribution across all age groups (P>0.05). The low-level HBsAg group included an older age group. A low-level of HBsAg was positively correlated with a low level of replication of HBV DNA (r=0.452).
CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study showed that individuals with chronic HBV infection and sustained low-levels of HBsAg were an older population and had a lower level of replicating HBV DNA when compared with individuals with high levels of HBsAg, and the majority (93.7%) were also HBsAg and HBeAg and HBcAg-positive.
Keywords: Hepatitis A Antigens, Hepatitis B virus, Statistics as Topic
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