Practical aspects of HBs antigen quantification Jerzy Jaroszewicz Medical Science Review - Hepatologia 2011; 11 33-36 aaICID: 970907
Article type: Review article
IC™ Value: 3.40
Abstract provided by Publisher
The monitoring of chronic hepatitis B treatment efficacy is often difficult in clinical
practice. In majority of patients receiving long-term therapy with nucleos(t)ides analogues
(NA) HBV viral load is fully suppressed. Furthermore, the dynamics of HBV-DNA during first
weeks of therapy with interferons (IFN) is similar in patients with sustained viral response and
A significant breakthrough in predicting the response to anti-HBV has been made in last years.
The development of standardized assays for HBs antigen quantification (qHBsAg) in a serum
has shed new light on this old marker. HBsAg is secreted from infected hepatocytes in form
of infectious virions but also defective particles. Therefore, measurement of its concentration
yields additional information on the extensiveness of HBV infection in the liver. Current evidence
shows a strong predicitive value of HBsAg decline during first weeks of PEG-IFN in HBeAg(+)
andHBeAg(–) hepatitis for therapy outcomes. Moreover, own data suggest that in low-replicative
HBsAg carriers HBsAg levels are very low, suggesting an association between qHBsAg
and immune control of HBV. Preliminary studies also show that the dynamics of serum HBsAg
levels during NA therapy may predict HBsAg-loss in the follow-up. Interestingly, HBsAg drop
seems to reflect an activation of endogenous interferon system.
In summary, preliminary data suggest potential usefulness of HBsAg quantification in monitoring
of response to the therapy in chronic hepatitis B patients as well as during natural course
of HBV-infection. Further data obtained in controlled, prospective trials is mandatory before
application of qHBsAg in routine, clinical practice.