HBsAg-negative and anti-HBc-positive in eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis: a retrospective pilot study

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We examined whether resolved hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection was associated with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV), and affected AAV activity at diagnosis and prognosis during the follow-up. We reviewed the electronic medical records of 153 AAV patients, and included 91 hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-negative patients having results of both antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) and surface antigen (anti-HBs). We collected clinical and laboratory data, Birmingham vasculitis activity score (BVAS) and five factor scores (FFS) at diagnosis and relapse rates during the follow-up. We divided patients into the two groups according to the presence of anti-HBc and compared variables between them in patients with AAV or those with each variant. The mean age and follow-up duration were 59.8 ± 15.2-year-old and 48.0 ± 47.5 months. Fifty patients (54.9%) had anti-HBc, and 61 patients (67.0%) had anti-HBs. Only thirty-six (39.6%) patients had ever experienced relapse after remission. There were no remarkable differences between HBsAg-negative AAV patients with and without anti-HBc. However, in eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) patients, patients with HBs-negative/anti-HBc-positive (resolved HBV infection) showed the higher initial mean BVAS and FFS (2009) than those without. Patients having anti-HBc exhibited significantly increased risk of relapse of EGPA than those having not (RR 16.0). Also, EGPA patients with HBs-negative/anti-HBc-positive showed meaningfully lower cumulative relapse-free survival rates than those without during the follow-up duration (p = 0.043). In conclusion, resolved HBV infection may importantly influence vasculitis activity at diagnosis and subsequently relapse after remission in EGPA patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1531-1538
Number of pages8
JournalRheumatology International
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
showed meaningfully higher cumulative relapse-free survival rates than those with during the follow-up duration (p=0.043). EGPA eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis, anti-HBc antibody to hepatitis B core antigen Acknowledgements This study was supported by a Grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute, funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI14C1324) and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2017R1D1A1B03029050).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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