Journal of Laboratory Physicians
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 304-308

Evaluation of impact of occult hepatitis B infection in chronic HCV-infected patients: A retrospective cohort study

1 Department of Clinical Virology, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Hepatology, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ekta Gupta
Department of Clinical Virology, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JLP.JLP_12_18

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CONTEXT: Occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) may contribute to liver damage and variable therapeutic response in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection. AIMS: To study the prevalence of OBI and to evaluate its impact and/or that of anti-HBc total seropositivity on clinical outcomes and response to directly acting antiviral (DAA) therapy in CHC-infected patients. SETTINGS AND DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in a tertiary care liver hospital from January to May 2017. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Eighty HBsAg-negative CHC patients who were initiated on DAA therapy were retrospectively included. Archived pretreatment baseline plasma samples were retrieved and tested for quantitative HBV DNA, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc total antibodies. HCV RNA, genotype, clinical, biochemical and histopathological parameters & treatment response data were obtained from the hospital information system. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED: Comparison of continuous variables was done by Mann–Whitney and Kruskal–Wallis tests and categorical variables by Fisher's exact test or Pearson's Chi-square test. RESULTS: Prevalence of OBI was 1.25%. Anti-HBc total positivity was seen in 25% patients. Based on anti-HBc total status, patients were categorized into two groups namely Group 1 (anti-HBc positive) and Group 2 (anti-HBc negative). Group 1 patients were further categorized into three subgroups based on signal/cutoff (S/Co) of HBc total antibody semi-quantitative values. HBc total antibody levels did not influence the severity of CHC disease. Comparative evaluation of parameters such as median log10baseline RNA (P = 0.929 and 0.464), median alanine aminotransferase (ALT 0) (P = 0.519 and 0.449), ALT at 12 weeks (P = 0.875 and 0.594), sustained virological response (SVR) at 12 weeks (P = 0.405 and 0.263) and SVR at 24 weeks (P = 0.265 and 0.625) between Groups 1 and 2 and among three categories within Group 1, respectively, were not found to be statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Very low prevalence of OBI was seen in CHC patients. HBc total antibody levels did not influence clinical outcome and response to DAA therapy in this cohort.

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