Comparison of novel biomarkers with conventional HBV markers among untreated adults with chronic hepatitis B in North America

HepatologyGhany MG, King WC, Lisker-Melman M, et al. | June 18, 2021

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Researchers sought to ascertain the clinical utility of two novel biomarkers, hepatitis B virus (HBV) RNA and hepatitis B core-related antigen (HBcrAg), as compared with conventional markers of HBV replication and disease activity. Based on HBsAg and HBeAg status, and HBV DNA and ALT levels, they performed stratification of untreated participants in the North American Hepatitis B Research Network Adult Cohort Study by chronic hepatitis B (CHB) phases. Among 1,409 participants across all CHB phases, median HBV DNA was 3.8 log10 IU/mL and ALT was 34 U/L. Differences in both markers were observed across CHB phases, with higher levels in the HBeAg+ and HBeAg- immune active phases. Overall findings revealed clear correlation between HBV RNA and HBcrAg levels and CHB phases, however, these markers exhibited limited additional value in distinguishing CHB phases because of their strong correlation with HBV DNA and to a lesser extent with clinical disease indicators.

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