Reappraisal of HBV genotypes and clinical significance in Koreans using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry

Jung Min Lee, Sang Hoon Ahn, Hye Young Chang, Ji Eun Shin, Do Young Kim, Myoung Ki Sim, Sun Pyo Hong, Hyun Jae Chung, Soo Ok Kim, Kwang Hyub Han, Chae Yoon Chon, Young Myoung Moon

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29 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND/AIMS: Recent studies have shown that the genotype of hepatitis B virus (HBV) may correlate with the disease natural history and treatment outcome. However, several of these studies used low sensitivity assays in a small number of patients, and this has precluded an accurate evaluation of Korean HBV genotypes. We analyzed Korean HBV genotypes in a large population by employing a new technology, restriction fragment mass polymorphism (RFMP) using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, in a sensitive and specific manner. METHODS: Between February 1995 and December 2003, a total of 475 patients with chronic HBV infection were enrolled. The assay is based on the mass measurement of oligonucleotides having genotypic variations of the S gene. Clinical features including the virologic status and disease progression were also evaluated. RESULTS: The median age of the total patients was 35.5 years. Out of 475 patients, there were 162 (34.1%) inactive carriers, 172 (36.2%) had chronic hepatitis, 77 (16.2%) had liver cirrhosis and 64 (13.5%) had hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). There were 454 patients (95.6%) with genotype C, 4 patients (0.8%) with genotype A, 16 patients (3.4%) with the mixed A and C genotype [7 patients (1.4%) with A<C versus 9 patients (2.0%) with C>A], and 1 patient (0.2%) with B genotype. Comparing genotype A and C, genotype A patients were all inactive carriers without HCC, whereas genotype C patients included those with chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and HCC. CONCLUSIONS: HBV genotype C is highly prevalent in Korea. Although it is a small percentage, genotype A also exists and it seems to take a more benign clinical course than genotype C. Further studies are necessitated to assess the relationship between HBV genotypes and the various aspects of the diseases' clinical course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-270
Number of pages11
JournalThe Korean journal of hepatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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