Background and Aims: Few studies have adequately examined the efficacy of lamivudine plus adefovir (LAM+ADV) combination therapy vs. entecavir (ETV) monotherapy in HBeAg-positive hepatitis B patients who fail to respond to sequential treatment with LAM and ADV. We compared directly the efficacy of LAM+ADV vs. ETV in such patients and assessed prognostic factors associated with a virologic response at month 12. Methods: In total, 72 HBeAg-positive patients who showed resistance (n = 33) or a suboptimal virologic response (n = 39) to ADV monotherapy with resistance to LAM therapy underwent rescue therapy (31 LAM+ADV and 41 ETV). All patients were followed for at least 12 months. Results: Following 12 months of treatment, in the LAM+ADV and ETV groups, a virologic response was observed in 7/31 (22.6%) and 8/41 (19.5%; P = 0.777) patients; ALT normalization occurred in 11/13 (84.6%) and 16/18 (88.9%; P = 0.566); HBeAg seroconversion in 1/31 (2.3%) and 4/41 (9.8%; P = 0.341) and a virologic breakthrough in 3/31 (9.0%) and 5/41 (12.1%; P = 0.452) respectively. Independent prognostic factors associated with a virologic response were the baseline HBV-DNA level (OR = 0.37; 95% CI 0.17-0.80; P = 0.011) and the duration of prior ADV monotherapy (OR = 0.89; 95% CI 0.83-0.95; P = 0.044). Conclusions: Neither LAM+ADV nor ETV was adequately effective in patients with sequential LAM and ADV treatment failure. Thus, when chronic hepatitis B patients show resistance or suboptimal response to ADV monotherapy, early modification of treatment should be considered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes