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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 150-154

Serum hepatitis B surface antigen levels correlate with high serum HBV DNA levels in patients with chronic hepatitis B: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Virology, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), Vasant Kunj, New Delhi - 110 070, India
2 Department of Hepatology, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), Vasant Kunj, New Delhi - 110 070, India

Correspondence Address:
E Gupta
Department of Virology, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), Vasant Kunj, New Delhi - 110 070
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0255-0857.96664

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Purpose : The hallmark of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection is the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positivity for at least 6 months. Recently, serum levels of HBsAg have been compared with serum HBV DNA as a surrogate marker to monitor CHB patients. However, data correlating these two markers are scarce. Hence, the present study was done to correlate HBV DNA with HBsAg in CHB patients. Materials and Methods: Consecutive patients of CHB were included. HBV DNA was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Serum HBsAg was measured by Architect HBsAg. Results: Of the 198 patients enrolled, 166 fulfilled the inclusion criteria (mean age 43 ± 14 years, 87% males) and the median HBV DNA was 1.7 × 10 3 (range 6.0-1.1 × 10 8 ) IU/ml. Median HBsAg was 8.7 × 10 3 (range 5.0-3.2 × 10 5) IU/ml. Overall correlation between HBV DNA and HBsAg was weak but significant (Spearman ρ = 0.443, P < 0.01). Correlation in HBe antigen-positive group was better (ρ = 0.402, P < 0.01) in comparison to HBe antigen-negative group (ρ = 0.193 P = 0.05). Good correlation existed in treatment-naïve group (ρ = 0.538, P < 0.01) .Correlation was regardless of normal or raised alanine transaminase (ALT). Eighty (48%) patients had high HBV DNA (≥2000 IU/ml). Correlation in high DNA group was significant (P < 0.01). The best cut-off of HBsAg for diagnosing high DNA is 3.36 ×10 3 IU/ml. Conclusions: Serum HBsAg correlates with HBV DNA in CHB patients, especially in high serum HBV DNA, HBe antigen-positive and treatment-naïve group. HBsAg levels can be used for predicting high serum HBV DNA levels.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
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