Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Ansan, South Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Chonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonju, South Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Gachon University Gil Hospital, Incheon, South Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University Anam Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Uijeongbu St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Konkuk University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
Entecavir 0.5 mg (ETV) is widely used among treatment-naïve chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. However, 10%-30% of patients show partial virologic response (PVR) to the drug. If the hepatitis B virus (HBV) continues to replicate, the underlying liver disease may progress. Herein, we compared the efficacy of switching to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) with that of continuing ETV in CHB patients with PVR to ETV. This was an open-label randomized controlled trial including CHB patients who had been receiving 0.5 mg of ETV for >12 months, but who still had detectable HBV DNA levels of >60 IU/mL without known resistance to ETV. Sixty patients were enrolled and 45 qualified for the study: Twenty-two patients were randomly assigned into the TDF group and 23 into the ETV group. After 12 months of treatment, the virologic response rate (HBV DNA <20 IU/mL) was significantly higher in the TDF group than in the ETV group, as measured using per-protocol analysis (55% vs 20%; P = .022) and intention-to-treat analysis (50% vs 17.4%; P = .020). The reduction in HBV DNA was greater (-1.13 vs -0.67 log10 IU/mL; P = .024), and the mean HBV DNA level was lower (1.54 vs 2.01 log10 IU/mL; P = .011) in the TDF group than in the ETV group. In conclusion, to achieve optimal response in CHB patients with PVR to ETV, switching to TDF would be a better strategy than continuing ETV. Appropriate modification of therapy would further improve the outcome of chronic HBV infection.