Update on Hepatitis B & C -Postgraduate Course

Update on Hepatitis B –Jean Pappas Molleston

Hepatitis B: Who to Treat:

  • Immune active Hepatitis B with active disease: HBeAg+ (> 6 months), HBV DNA > 20,000 IU/ml, ALT > 1.5 x normal or > 60 IU/L, &  moderate/severe inflammation/fibrosis
  • Reactivated Hepatitis B with active disease: HBeAg‐ (> 12 months), HBV DNA > 2000 IU/ml, ALT > 1.5 x normal or > 60 IU/L

Hepatitis B: Who to Not Treat:

  • Immunotolerant Hepatitis B: HBeAg+, HBV DNA > 20,000 IU/ml, Normal ALT
  • Inactive carrier: HBe Ag, HBV DNA < 2000

What to Use to Treat Children with Hepatitis B and When:

  • Only children with active disease should be treated
  • Many would suggest IFN as a first line drug, especially for younger children
  • Nucleoside analogues can now be considered in older children: Tenofovir is licensed for over age 12,  Entecavir is licensed for over age 16

What’s Exciting?

  • NCT01519960 Peg‐IFN monotherapy for children with chronic active hepatitis B
  • NCT01368497 Peg‐IFN and Entecavir for treatment of Hepatitis B in immunotolerant children
  • New drugs
  • New ways to predict who will have worse disease and who will respond
  • Direct Acting Antivirals

Treating HCV: 2013 and Beyond… Regino P. González-Peralta, M.D.

Standard of Care HCV Therapy: Children

  1. IFN/PEG-IFN-α-2a (PEG-2a):  ‘‘Branched’’ 40-kDa PEG moiety, Dose: 104 μg/m2 SQ once weekly, Available: prefilled syringes or as vials
  2. PEG-IFN-α-2b (PEG-2b): ‘‘Linear’’ 12-kDa PEG, Dose: 60 μg/m2 SQ once weekly, Available: Measured vials/ready-use pens

Other pointers:

  • Discussed IL-28 B Polymorphism –No pediatric data yet
  • Close monitoring for those who are treated
  • PEG-RBV is standard of care for children though with suboptimal efficacy and significant toxicity
  • Warp-speed evolution of HCV therapies
  • All ORAL’ regimen on horizon
  • Yearly evaluation: CBC, liver tests, HCV RNA and PT/INR (cirrhosis)

HCV Rx in Children: to treat or not:


  • Avoid disease progression
  • Remove social stigma
  • Decrease HCV burden
  • Children ‘better’ candidates


  • Benign disease
  • Efficacy
  • Toxicity
  • Direct Acting Antivirals (in the pipeline)

Full slides available on postgraduate Course Syllabus (posted with permission): PG Syllabus

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) and specific medical interventions should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Application of the information in a particular situation remains the professional responsibility of the practitioner.

Extended data with entecavir & annotated HBV management references

Long-term data for entecavir continue to look good (Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2012; 10: 1047-1050).

With this study, the authors performed a post hoc analysis of 94 Asian patients with hepatitis B e antigen-positve (HBeAg+) nucleus(t)ice analogue-naive patients who received 5 years of entecavir therapy.  By five years, 66 patients remained in the study; of the other 28: 11 withdrew consent, 4 completed treatment, 5 died, 2 were lost to followup, 2 had minimal virologic response, and 4 had other reasons.


  • 63 of 66 (95%) patients who completed 5 years of therapy had HBV DNA < 300 copies/mL
  • 50 of 66 (76%) had normalized levels of alanine aminotransferase
  • 26 of 65 (40%) had HBeAg loss
  • 12 of 65 (18%) had HBeAg seroconversion
  • No resistance to entecavir was detected

Related blog entries:

References on Hepatitis B Management:

  • Chronic Hepatitis B: Update_2009 AASLD Practice Guidelines
  • -Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2011; 9: 85. Mgt recommendations.
  • -Hepatology 2010; 52: 2192. Consensus guidelines suggest that IFN is treatment of choice in pediatric pts (<16yrs) due to resistance among nucleosides and lack of pediatric studies with these agents along with PEG-IFN. Does not recommend Rx for immune tolerant (NL ALT, HBeAg+, HBV >20K), inactive dz (NL ALT, HBeAg-Neg, HBV <2K), mild disease. Reactivation (HBeAg-Neg, HBV>2K IU/mL & +ALT1.5ULN or >60) & Immune active (+ALT1.5ULN or >60, HBeAg+, HBV >20K) can be treated if mod-severe dz.
  • -JPGN 2009; 48: 399-404. For children, IF +HBeAg/HBV DNA> 20,000 IU/mL & ALT>2 x ULN, Rx post 3months (sooner if decompensating). IF +HBeAg/HBV DNA> 20,000 IU/mL & ALT<2 x ULN or if inactive replication, then monitor. Consider: Follow yearly U/S, q6mo AFP.  IF HBV DNA <20K U/mL & NL ALT: no Rx, monitor q6-12mo. IF HBV DNA >20K U/mL & NL ALT, low rate of HBeAg conversion, young pts often immunotolerant, consider biopsy, esp if >35yrs.  IF HBV DNA >20K U/mL & incr ALT, then Rx options entecavir, tenofovir, PEG interferon alfa-2a preferred.
  • Hepatology 2009; 49: May 2009 supplement -Entirely on management of HBV: S1-S199. NIH Consensus conference. S8: “Reasonable to monitor this group ((younger than 40/HBeAg+) without therapy unless evidence of progressive liver disease is found” S10 Table 1 -Criteria for determining Rx. Generally not indicated: immune-tolerant phase (High HBV DNA but normal ALT or little activity on Bx).S119: “almost all of the oral agents are superior to interferon-based therapy in achieving other clinical endpoints…and in achieving biochemical and histological improvement…in addition, with longer use, oral agents can equal and exceed the level of pegIFN-associated HBeAg & HBsAg serologic responses w/o the need for injections, side effects…”
  • -Hepatology 2009; 49: 699. German Rx guidelines: IF HBV DNA+ & Cirrhosis –>Rx. IF HBV DNA >10 to 4th and any of the following: ALT >2X, F2 + inflammation, Risk HCC/extrahep dz—>Rx. If none of these reeval q6-12mo

Additional entecavir/tenofovir references:

  • -Gastroenterol 2011; 141: 1212. Entecavir effective as monotherapy post OLT.
  • -Hepatology 2010; 53: 763. No resistance with tenofovir over 2yrs. n=641 (HBe+ & HBe-neg)
  • -Gastroenterol 2011; 140: 132. n=365. Excellent efficacy of tenofovir over 3 yr Rx for HBV. 87% of HBeAg-neg with undetectable HBV & 74% of HBeAg-pos. 8% of HBeAg-pos lost HBsAg & 34% lost HBeAg.
  • -Hepatology 2009; 51: 73. n=131. Tenofovir Rx.
  • -Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2010; 9: 274. Use of entecavir (long term) reverses fibrosis in HBV
  • -Hepatology 2010; 52: 886. Long term entecavir Rx (>6yrs) with good efficacy & improved histology (96%), n=69.
  • -Hepatology 2009; 49: 1503. Long term entecavir Rx with LOW resistance. n=608 @ yr1, 108 @ yr5. Resistance ~1%
  • -Hepatology 2009; 50: 1064. Entecavir less effective in pts with combined LAM/ADV resistance.
  • -Hepatology 2008; 48: 99. Entecavir for lamivudine-refractory HBV thru 96 weeks. n=141 entecavir, n=145 lam. Entecavir fairly effective (81% had NL Alt, 10% HBeAg seroconversion) 6/77 in 2nd yr developed resistance much higher than those in studies who never rec’d lamivudine
  • -NEJM 2007; 356: 2614. Use entecavir with caution in pts coinfected w HIV -may select for resistant organisms in those not on fully sppressive antiretroviral regimens.
  • -NEJM 2006; 354: 1001, 1011, 1074. Hepatitis B patients: At 48 weeks, Entecavir-Rx’d HBeAg+ had 72% histologic response, 67% c undetectable HBV DNA, and 68% normalized ALT (n=314/314 entecavir/lamivudine pts). At 48 weeeks among HBeAG-neg, 90% in entecavir group (n=296 vs. 287 lamivudine pts) w/o detectable HBV DNA, 78% c Nl ALT, 70% c histologic improvement. Entecavir has caused cancer in mice.
  • -Hepatology 2006; 44: 1656. Entecavir had highly potent efficacy in reducing HBV DNA levels to <300 copies/mL. Study of 673 Rx’d pts. In HBeAg+, 69% were HBV DNA-neg at 48 weeks, & 82% at 96 weeks; in HBeAg-neg, 93% at 48 weeks & 96% at 96 weeks were HBV DNA neg. Low level of resistance due potent HBV DNA levels.