Prevalence of fibrosis and cirrhosis in chronic hepatitis B: implications for treatment and management

2008 American Journal of Gastroenterology 103, 6 (1421-1426)

OBJECTIVE: To document the prevalence and factors associated with severe fibrosis and cirrhosis in a large population of Asian chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. METHODS: Transient elastography was performed in unselected CHB patients. Liver stiffness score of <8.1 kPa was used as a cut-off for the presence of severe fibrosis or liver cirrhosis. RESULTS: 1315 patients were recruited, of which 951 (72%) were treatment-naive. Of these, 319 (34%) had severe fibrosis, with higher prevalence seen in males compared with females (39% vs 24% respectively, p < 0.01. Severe fibrosis was seen with increasing age from 20% in patients <25 years to 81% in those >65 years. Higher prevalence of severe fibrosis was seen in HBeAg(+) patients compared to HBeAg(-) patients age >45 years (58% vs 43% respectively, p = 0.03), in patients with HBV DNA levels >or=4 log compared with <4 log copies/ml (41% vs 27% respectively, p < 0.01), and in patients with stepwise increase of ALT levels (<0.5 x ULN vs 0.5-1 x ULN vs 1-2 x ULN; 11% vs 30% vs 48% respectively, p < 0.01). After multivariate analysis, gender, age and ALT levels were significant factors associated with severe fibrosis. Patients who received antiviral treatment had lower ALT, stiffness score and prevalence of cirrhosis compared to treatment-naive patients [25 vs 35 U/L (p < 0.01), 6.2 vs 6.7 kPa (p = 0.031) and 14% vs 22% (p = 0.008) respectively]. CONCLUSION: The overall prevalence of severe fibrosis in CHB patients was 34% with higher rates seen in older age groups, males, and in patients with higher ALT levels.

Pubmed : 18422821