- 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou branch, Taiwan; Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taiwan.
- 2Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Background & aim: Antiviral therapy has greatly improved the outcomes of patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and active liver disease or advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis. However, current treatment does not eradicate HBV and long-term treatment is needed in most patients to maintain clinical benefit. Thus, professional society guidelines do not recommend treatment of all patients with chronic HBV infection. This review article will examine evidence for and against expansion of treatment to patients in whom treatment is not recommended based on current guidelines.
Results: Available data support expanding treatment to immune tolerant patients and patients in the grey zones who have evidence of active/advanced liver disease based on liver biopsy or non-invasive tests and those who remain in the immune tolerant phase after age 40. Evidence supporting treatment expansion to confirmed inactive carriers and other immune tolerant patients is lacking.
Conclusions: HBV treatment indications can be more liberal when new therapies that can achieve HBsAg loss safely in a high percentage of patients after a finite course of treatment are available.