Alternative Therapies for Chronic Hepatitis B Patients With Partial Virological Response to Standard Entecavir Monotherapy. Journal of clinical gastroenterology Chaung, K. T., O'Brien, C., Ha, N. B., Nguyen, N. H., Trinh, H. N., Nguyen, M. H. 2016; 50 (4): 338-344


Entecavir (ETV) is a first-line, oral antinucleoside agent for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B patients. Despite its high potency, some patients may still be viremic after prolonged therapy with ETV monotherapy. Long-term outcome data comparing maintained ETV monotherapy to alternative therapies in persistently viremic patients are limited. Our goal was to compare complete viral suppression (CVS) rates [hepatitis B DNA (HBV DNA)<40 to 60 IU/mL] with alternative therapies to continued ETV monotherapy in ETV partial responders.This is a retrospective cohort study consisting of 86 consecutive treatment-naive, ETV=0.5 mg partial responders (detectable HBV DNA after =12 mo on ETV) who maintained ETV=0.5 mg daily (n=29) or switched to either ETV=1.0 mg daily (n=32) or ETV/tenofovir (TDF)=0.5 mg/300 mg (n=25) in 3 US GI/liver clinics from January 2005 to January 2012. Patients were identified by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision query and data were collected by individual chart review. For those who remained on ETV=0.5 mg, comparison at regimen "switch time" was done using values at 12 months from initial ETV therapy. Rates of CVS were evaluated using Kaplan-Meier methods. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratio (HR) relating to potential predictors to the desirable outcomes of CVS.In all therapy groups, the majority of patients were Asian (93.1% to 100.0%), male (64.0% to 68.8%), and hepatitis B e antigen-positive (95.8% to 100.0%) and had similar baseline alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. However, baseline HBV DNA (7.0 vs. 7.9 vs. 7.8 log10 IU/mL, P=0.05) and HBV DNA at regimen switch point (2.9 vs. 3.7 vs. 3.6 log10 IU/mL, P=0.0014) were lower in the ETV=0.5 mg cohort compared with those switched to ETV=1.0 mg or ETV/TDF, respectively. The ETV=0.5 mg cohort also had the shortest duration of ETV=0.5 mg therapy before switch (11.8 vs. 13.5 vs. 19.2 mo, P<0.0001). After the switch point, more patients on ETV/TDF achieved CVS compared with those on ETV=0.5 mg or ETV=1.0 mg at month 6 (77.3% vs. 13.8% vs. 9.4%), month 12 (86.4% vs. 40.5% vs. 25.0%), and month 18 (100% vs. 70.2% vs. 33.3%). Compared with the ETV=0.5 mg and ETV=1.0 mg groups, the ETV/TDF group also had higher rates of ALT normalization at month 6 (73.0% vs, 46.4% vs. 63.0%), month 12 (79.7% vs. 69.5% vs. 77.9%), and month 18 (100.0% vs. 69.5% vs. 86.8%), respectively. The multivariate analyses, inclusive of baseline age and treatment duration on initial therapy with ETV=0.5 mg, indicated that the ETV/TDF combination (HR=12.19, P<0.0001) was independently and positively associated with CVS, whereas high HBV DNA levels at baseline (HR=0.77, P=0.02) and at switch point (HR=0.46, P=0.002) were negatively associated with CVS. ETV=1.0 mg dose was not a predictor for CVS compared with ETV=0.5 mg.Following adjustments for HBV DNA levels and prior treatment duration, ETV/TDF combination therapy independently predicted superior viral suppression and ALT normalization in partial responders to ETV=0.5 mg daily compared with ETV=0.5 mg or ETV=1.0 mg monotherapy. In patients who continued to be viremic after 12 months of ETV=0.5 mg, one third were still viremic after another 18 months on the same therapy. Alternative therapies should be considered for these patients.

View details for DOI 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000455

View details for PubMedID 26646801