Published online Jul 28, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i28.3181
Peer-review started: March 28, 2018
First decision: May 9, 2018
Revised: June 2, 2018
Accepted: June 22, 2018
Article in press: June 22, 2018
Published online: July 28, 2018
To assess the incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation in patients receiving direct-acting antiviral agent (DAA)-based therapy or interferon (IFN)-based therapy for hepatitis C and the effectiveness of preemptive anti-HBV therapy for preventing HBV reactivation.
The PubMed, MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched, and 39 studies that reported HBV reactivation in HBV/hepatitis C virus coinfected patients receiving DAA-based therapy or IFN-based therapy were included. The primary outcome was the rate of HBV reactivation. The secondary outcomes included HBV reactivation-related hepatitis and the effectiveness of preemptive anti-HBV treatment with nucleos(t)ide analogues. The pooled effects were assessed using a random effects model.
The rate of HBV reactivation was 21.1% in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive patients receiving DAA-based therapy and 11.9% in those receiving IFN-based therapy. The incidence of hepatitis was lower in HBsAg-positive patients with undetectable HBV DNA compared to patients with detectable HBV DNA receiving DAA therapy (RR = 0.20, 95%CI: 0.06-0.64, P = 0.007). The pooled HBV reactivation rate in patients with previous HBV infection was 0.6% for those receiving DAA-based therapy and 0 for those receiving IFN-based therapy, and none of the patients experienced a hepatitis flare related to HBV reactivation. Preemptive anti-HBV treatment significantly reduced the potential risk of HBV reactivation in HBsAg-positive patients undergoing DAA-based therapy (RR = 0.31, 95%CI: 0.1-0.96, P = 0.042).
The rate of HBV reactivation and hepatitis flare occurrence is higher in HBsAg-positive patients receiving DAA-based therapy than in those receiving IFN-based therapy, but these events occur less frequently in patients with previous HBV infection. Preemptive anti-HBV treatment is effective in preventing HBV reactivation.
Core tip: We assessed the potential risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation in patients receiving direct-acting antiviral agent (DAA)-based therapy or interferon-based therapy for hepatitis C. Preemptive anti-HBV treatment proved to be effective in preventing HBV reactivation during DAA therapy. These findings support the use of entecavir or tenofovir in hepatitis B surface antigen-positive patients prior to the initiation of DAA therapy.