Discontinuation of nucleos(t)ide analogues is not associated with a higher risk of HBsAg seroreversion after antiviral-induced HBsAg seroclearance: a nationwide multicentre study.

Research paper by Minseok Albert MA Kim, Seung Up SU Kim, Dong Hyun DH Sinn, Jeong Won JW Jang, Young-Suk YS Lim, Sang Hoon SH Ahn, Jae-Jun JJ Shim, Yeon Seok YS Seo, Yang Hyun YH Baek, Sang Gyune SG Kim, Young Seok YS Kim, Ji Hoon JH Kim, Won Hyeok WH Choe, Hyung Joon HJ Yim, Hyun Woong HW Lee, et al.

Indexed on: 28 Mar '20Published on: 27 Mar '20Published in: Gut


Direct comparison of the clinical outcomes between nucleos(t)ide analogue (NA) discontinuation versus NA continuation has not been performed in patients with chronic hepatitis B who achieved HBsAg-seroclearance. Whether NA discontinuation was as safe as NA continuation after NA-induced surface antigen of HBV (HBsAg) seroclearance was investigated in the present study. This multicentre study included 276 patients from 16 hospitals in Korea who achieved NA-induced HBsAg seroclearance: 131 (47.5%) discontinued NA treatment within 6 months after HBsAg seroclearance (NA discontinuation group) and 145 (52.5%) continued NA treatment (NA continuation group). Primary endpoint was HBsAg reversion and secondary endpoints included serum HBV DNA redetection and development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). During follow-up (median=26.9 months, IQR=12.2-49.2 months), 10 patients (3.6%) experienced HBsAg reversion, 6 (2.2%) showed HBV DNA redetection and 8 (2.9%) developed HCC. Compared with NA continuation, NA discontinuation was not associated with HBsAg reversion in both univariable (HR=0.45, 95% CI=0.12 to 1.76, log-rank p=0.24) and multivariable analyses (adjusted HR=0.65, 95% CI=0.16 to 2.59, p=0.54). The cumulative probabilities of HBsAg reversion at 1, 3 and 5 years were 0.8%, 2.3% and 5.0% in the NA discontinuation group, and 1.5%, 6.3% and 8.4% in the NA continuation group, respectively. NA discontinuation was not associated with higher risk of either HBV redetection (HR=0.83, 95% CI=0.16 to 4.16, log-rank p=0.82) or HCC development (HR=0.53, 95% CI=0.12 to 2.23, log-rank p=0.38). The discontinuation of NA was not associated with a higher risk of either HBsAg reversion, serum HBV DNA redetection or HCC development compared with NA continuation among patients who achieved HBsAg seroclearance with NA. © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.