Monitoring of antiviral therapy with quantitative evaluation of hbeag: A comparison with HBV DNA testing

Robert Perrillo, Larry Mimms, Kenneth Schechtman, David Robbins, Carolyn Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The serological endpoint of response in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B is the loss of hepatitis B virus DNA and HBeAg. Because the quantitative measurement of hepatitis B virus DNA in serum has been shown to be useful for monitoring and predicting response to interferon‐α therapy, we decided to evaluate whether changes in HBeAg concentration could also be used in this manner. Twenty‐nine patients who were initially positive for HBeAg and HBV DNA were serially evaluated for HBeAg concentration with a microparticle‐capture enzyme immunoassay. HBeAg levels in serum were calculated by means of comparison with a standard curve of fluorescence rate vs. HBeAg concentration. The results, expressed in milliunits per milliliter, were compared with hepatitis B virus DNA levels determined by means of solution hybridization. The baseline HBeAg concentration proved to be the best independent predictor of response on stepwise Cox regression analysis (p = 0.026). Similar disappearance curves were observed for the two markers, although hepatitis B virus DNA became undetectable at an earlier interval in 13 of 16 cases (81%). In the 16 responders, a decline in HBeAg concentration of more than 90% was observed by wk 12 of therapy (mean ± S.D., 95% ± 13%). Nonresponders did not demonstrate such steep declines in HBeAg values by wk 12 (mean ± S.D., 45% ± 27%), and levels tended to increase at subsequent time points. We conclude that serial monitoring of HBeAg concentration with a technique that should be readily adaptable to clinical laboratories may be useful in the initial evaluation and monitoring of patients undergoing antiviral therapy. (HEPATOLOGY 1993;18:1306–1312.)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1306-1312
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1993


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