We investigated the durability of virological response after lamivudine (LAM) discontinuation in LAM-resistant chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients with complete virological response after LAM-adefovir (ADV) combination therapy. We enrolled 58 patients switched to ADV monotherapy with undetectable viral loads (<12 IU/ml) and normal alanine aminotransferase levels after ADV add-on combination treatment for at least 6 months in LAM-resistant CHB patients. Virologic relapse was defined as HBV DNA detection at more than 20 IU/ml by quantitative polymerase chain reaction determined on two consecutive measurements. During median 40.9 months of follow-up (range 11.5–79.0 months), seven (12.1%) patients experienced virological relapse. The cumulative rate of virological relapse at 3 and 5 years was 5.5% and 22.4%, respectively. Two patients had elevated alanine aminotransferase during virological relapse. These seven patients with virological relapse had undetectable HBV DNA after switching to tenofovir therapy. In our study, switching to ADV monotherapy resulted in sustained HBV DNA suppression in 87.9% of the patients during median 40.9 months follow-up. This adapting step-down strategy, switching from combination therapy to monotherapy in virologically suppressed CHB patients with stable liver disease, may reduce the cost burden and the risk of potentially harmful effects of combination therapy. J. Med. Virol. 89:85–90, 2017.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases