- 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, 3015 GD Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Background and aims: Adherence to guidelines is associated with improved long-term outcomes in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). We aimed to study the degree of adherence and determinants of non-adherence to management guidelines in a low endemic country.
Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all CHB patients who visited our outpatient clinic in 2020. Adherence to guidelines was assessed based on predefined criteria based on the EASL guidance, and included the initiation of antiviral therapy when indicated, the optimal choice of antiviral therapy based on comorbidities, an assessment of HAV/HCV/HDV/HIV serostatus, renal function monitoring and enrolment in a HCC surveillance program if indicated. The adherence rates were compared across types of outpatient clinic (dedicated viral hepatitis clinic versus general hepatology clinic).
Results: We enrolled 482 patients. Among the 276 patients with an indication for antiviral therapy, 268 (97.1%) received treatment. Among the patients with renal and/or bone disease, 26/29 (89.7%) received the optimal choice of antiviral agent. The assessment of HAV/HCV/HDV/HIV serostatus was performed in 86.1/91.7/94.4/78.4%. Among the 91 patients treated with tenofovir disoproxil, 57 (62.6%) underwent monitoring of renal function. Of the 241 patients with an indication for HCC surveillance, 212 (88.3%) were enrolled in a surveillance program. Clinics dedicated to viral hepatitis had superior adherence rates compared to general hepatology clinics (complete adherence rates 63.6% versus 37.2%, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Follow-up at a dedicated viral hepatitis clinic was associated with superior adherence to management guidelines.