Long-Term Telbivudine Treatment Results in Resolution of Liver Inflammation and Fibrosis in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B

2015 Advances in therapy 32;8 (727-741)

INTRODUCTION: The long-term goal of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) treatment is improvement of liver disease and prevention of cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to assess whether prolonged telbivudine treatment improves liver inflammation and fibrosis. The primary objective was to evaluate the proportion of patients with absence/minimal inflammation (Knodell necroinflammatory score =3) on liver biopsy at Year 5. METHODS: Fifty-seven patients aged 16-70 years with a clinical history of CHB and active viral replication (38 hepatitis B e antigen [HBeAg] positive and 19 HBeAg negative) were followed for 6 years: 33 received telbivudine 600 mg/day continuously for 5 years; 24 received lamivudine 100 mg/day for 2 years and then telbivudine for 3 years. Liver biopsies were taken pre-treatment and after 5 years of treatment. RESULTS: At baseline, mean (standard deviation) serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA load was 8.5 (1.7) log10 copies/mL, Knodell necroinflammatory score was 7.6 (2.9), and Ishak fibrosis score was 2.2 (1.1). After antiviral treatment (median duration: 261 weeks), liver histology improved with increased proportions of patients with absence/minimal liver inflammation (Knodell necroinflammatory score =3), from 16% (9/57) at baseline to 98% (56/57), and absence/minimal fibrosis (Ishak score =1), from 25% (14/57) at baseline to 84% (48/57). At Year 5, HBV DNA load was 90 mL/min/1.73 m(2)). CONCLUSION: Long-term telbivudine treatment with profound and durable viral suppression significantly improved liver histology, thus achieving the long-term goals of CHB treatment. FibroScan((R)) results after 5 and 6 years of treatment (in almost 20% of patients) were consistent with this information. FUNDING: Novartis and National Science and Technology Major Project (2012ZX10002003). TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov # NCT00877149.

Pubmed : 26329749