Background & aims: The aim of this study was to investigate if the variable outcome of chronic hepatitis B may be related to hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype.
Methods: The clinical and virologic events observed over prolonged follow-up in 258 Spanish patients with chronic hepatitis B infected with different genotypes of HBV were compared.
Results: The prevalence of genotype A, D, and F was 52%, 35%, and 7%, respectively. Concomitant sustained biochemical remission and clearance of HBV DNA occurred at a higher rate in genotype A- than in genotype D- (log-rank, 14.2; P = 0.002) or genotype F-infected patients (log-rank, 4.2; P = 0.03). The rate of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) clearance was higher in genotype A than in genotype D hepatitis (log-rank, 4.6; P = 0.03). Sustained remission and clearance of HBsAg were associated with infection with genotype A by Cox regression analysis. Seroconversion to antibody to hepatitis B e antigen (anti-HBe) was unrelated to HBV genotype, but the rate of sustained remission after seroconversion was higher in genotype A than in genotype D hepatitis both in patients who seroconverted to anti-HBe during follow-up (log-rank, 4.5; P = 0.03) and in patients with positive anti-HBe at baseline (log-rank, 6.66; P = 0.009). Death related to liver disease was more frequent in genotype F than in genotype A (P = 0.02) or genotype D (P = 0.002) hepatitis.
Conclusions: The long-term outcome of chronic hepatitis B is different in patients infected with HBV genotype A, D, or F.