Objective: Chronic hepatitis B is an international health concern that causes cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, liver failure, and death. Current treatment options are expensive and associated with side effects; however, indirect evidence suggests a relationship between relative thiamine deficiency and chronic hepatitis B infection.
Methods: The authors present three case studies wherein multiple crossovers of daily thiamine administration were used to evaluate a hypothesized association between thiamine treatment and aminotransferase levels.
Results: In each case study, thiamine administration was associated with reduction in aminotransferase levels and the fall of HBV DNA to undetectable levels. Analyses by t test demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in aminotransferase levels in all three cases.
Conclusions: The relationship between thiamine administration and chronic hepatitis B infection warrants further study. If proven effective in reducing liver damage or inducing remission of the hepatitis B virus in larger trials, thiamine will offer obvious advantages over the current treatments for chronic viral hepatitis B infection.