In this study, a research team from Japan investigated the hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype-related differences in the progression of liver disease.
The team assessed 585 patients with chronic HBV infection, including 258 with histologically verified chronic liver disease (CLD), and 74 with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
|Cumulative HBe seroconversion rates in patients with chronic liver disease were significantly higher in genotype B, than genotype C patients.|
They found that the mean ages of patients with advanced fibrosis (F3 or F4) and HCC was significantly older in genotype B, compared to genotype C patients.
In addition, both the hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) negativity rate at biopsy, and the cumulative HBe seroconversion rates in patients with CLD were significantly higher in genotype B, than genotype C patients.
The research team used multivariate analysis to reveal that genotype B, presence of precore mutation, high ALT levels, and severe histologic activity were independent factors for HBe seroconversion.
However, among all the biopsy-proven CLD patients, the ratio of patients with advanced fibrosis in genotype B was significantly lower than that in genotype C. The team identified a more remarkable difference in younger patients, but no difference in older patients (>45 years).
In addition, the distribution of each genotype between CLD and HCC was very similar.
Dr Hajime Sumi's team concluded, "Although the patients with genotype B experience earlier HBe seroconversion, slower progression of liver fibrosis, and slower development of HCC, the life-long risk of progression to advanced fibrosis and development of HCC may not differ among genotypes B- and C-related chronic liver disease".