He Jie Tang in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B patients

World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Nov 14;11(42):6638-43. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i42.6638.


Aim: To explore the effect of He Jie Tang (decoction for medication) on serum levels of T lymphocyte subsets, NK cell activity and cytokines in chronic hepatitis B patients.

Methods: Eighty-five patients with chronic hepatitis B were divided randomly into two groups. Fifty patients in group I were treated with He Jie Tang (HJT) and 35 patients in group II were treated with combined medication. The levels of T-lymphocyte subsets (CD(3)(+), CD(4)(+), CD(8)(+)), NK cell activity, cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL-8, sIL-2R) were observed before and after the treatment. Another 20 normal persons served as group 3.

Results: The level of CD(4)(+) cells and NK cell activity were lower, whereas the level of CD(8)(+) cells in patients was higher than that in normal persons (t = 2.685, 3.172, and 2.754 respectively; P<0.01). The levels of TNF-alpha, IL-8, and sIL-2R in chronic hepatitis B patients were higher than those in normal persons (t = 3.526, 3.170, and 2.876 respectively; P<0.01). After 6 months of treatment, ALT, AST, and TB levels in the two groups were obviously decreased (t = 3.421, 3.106, and 2.857 respectively; P<0.01). The level of CD(4)(+) cells and NK cell activity were increased whereas the level of CD(8)(+) cells decreased (t = 2.179, 2.423, and 2.677 respectively; P<0.05) in group I. The levels of TNF-alpha, IL-8, and sIL-2R in group I were decreased significantly after the treatment (t = 2.611, 2.275, and 2.480 respectively; P<0.05) but had no significant difference in group II after the treatment (t = 1.906, 1.833, and 2.029 respectively; P>0.05). The total effective rate had no significant difference between the two groups (c2 = 2.882, P>0.05) but the markedly effective rate was significantly different between the two groups (c2 = 5.340, P<0.05).

Conclusion: HJT is effective in treating chronic hepatitis B. HJT seems to exert its effect by improving the cellular immune function and decreasing inflammatory cytokines in chronic hepatitis B patients. The function of HJT in protecting liver function in the process of eliminating virus needs to be further studied.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / blood
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism
  • Killer Cells, Natural / metabolism
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Middle Aged
  • Pinellia
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Interleukin-8
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha