The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) guidelines for treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection have changed with time. We assessed rates of treatment evaluation and initiation in patients with chronic HBV infection from different practice settings in the past 14 years.Treatment-naïve patients with chronic HBV infection were recruited from different practice settings in California from January 2002 through December 2016. The study population comprised 4130 consecutive, treatment-naïve patients with chronic HBV infection seen by community primary care physicians (n=616), community gastroenterologists (n=2251), or university hepatologists (n=1263). Treatment eligibility was assessed using data from the first 6 months after initial presentation based on AASLD criteria adjusted for changes over time.Within the first 6 months of care, the proportions of patients evaluated by all 3 relevant tests (measurements of alanine aminotransferase, hepatitis B virus e-antigen, and HBV DNA) were: 36.69% of in community primary care, 59.80% in gastroenterologist care, and 79.97% in the hepatology care (P<.0001 among the three groups). Higher proportions of patients were eligible for treatment in specialty practices: 12.76% in community primary care, 24.96% in gastroenterologist care, and 29.43% in hepatology care (P<.0001). Among treatment-eligible patients, there was no significant difference in the proportions of patients who began antiviral therapy between those receiving treatment from a gastroenterologist (55.65%) vs a hepatologist (57.90%; P=.56). Of 243 evaluable patients receiving community primary care, only 31 were eligible for treatment and only 12 of these (38.71%) received treatment.In an analysis of patients receiving care for chronic HBV infection, we found the proportions evaluated and receiving treatment to be suboptimal, according to AASLD criteria, in all practice settings. However, rates of evaluation and treatment were lowest for patients receiving community primary care.
View details for PubMedID 30326298