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Title: Treatment of hepatitis B surface antigen carriers in the early stage of the infection using recombinant alpha-interferon with steroid priming
Authors: Guan, R.
Ho, K.Y.
Yap, I.
Kang, J.Y.
Tan, C.C. 
Smith, C.N.R.
Wee, A.
Issue Date: 1995
Citation: Guan, R.,Ho, K.Y.,Yap, I.,Kang, J.Y.,Tan, C.C.,Smith, C.N.R.,Wee, A. (1995). Treatment of hepatitis B surface antigen carriers in the early stage of the infection using recombinant alpha-interferon with steroid priming. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 9 (5) : 535-540. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: Alpha-interferon has been found to inhibit hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication in Chinese patients with chronic HBV infection although a sustained effect was rarely achieved in those with normal pretreatment serum alanine amino transferase (ALT) levels. Prednisolone priming has been found to be beneficial over treatment with interferon alone in these subjects. We studied the effect of steroid pre-treatment followed by recombinant interferon alpha-2a in the treatment of asymptomatic HBV carriers with positive hepatitis Be antigen (HBeAg), hepatitis B viral DNA (HBV-DNA) and minimal changes in liver histology. Methods: The treatment regimen included a 6-week prednisolone priming, a 2 week rest followed by 14 weeks of three times weekly 9 mega units of interferon alpha-2a injection and 52 weeks of follow-up. There were seven patients in the treatment group and seven controls. Results: The mean age, pre-treatment ALT (normal in all except for one in each of the treatment and control groups), HBV-DNA levels and histological scores were similar in the two groups. Serum HBV-DNA levels fen in six patients during treatment and became undetectable in two of them by the end. During follow-up, serum HBV-DNA returned to pre-treatment levels in all patients. None of the treated patients had HBeAg sero-conversion and none of the controls had spontaneous clearance of HBV-DNA or sero-conversion of HBeAg. No improvement of liver histology was observed in any of the treated patients. There were only mild flu-like side-effects noted and interferon alpha-2a was well tolerated at the doses given among treated patients. Conclusion: Prednisolone priming followed by interferon alpha-2a treatment has no beneficial effect on HBV carriers in the early stages of chronic hepatitis B infection.
Source Title: Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
ISSN: 02692813
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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