Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effects of anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) on hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive patients with rheumatic diseases.
Methods: Evidence of HBV reactivation after anti-TNF therapy or DMARDs in HBsAg-positive patients with rheumatic disease was summarized by performing a systematic review.
Results: A total of 122 HBsAg-positive rheumatic disease-positive patients undergoing treatment with an anti-TNF agent or with DMARDs were identified in nine studies. In eight of the studies, the anti-TNF agents used were etanercept in 56 cases, adalimumab in 25 cases and infliximab in 14 cases. Follow-up periods ranged from 6 to 52 months. Antiviral prophylaxis was administrated in 48 of the 122 patients (39.3%). HBV reactivation in HBsAg-positive patients taking an anti-TNF agent or DMARD was reported in 15 cases (15/122 = 12.3%). Ten of the 15 patients provided individual data on HBV reactivation: four patients had rheumatoid arthritis, four had ankylosing spondylitis and two had psoriatic arthritis; four received etanercept, and two received infliximab. In one of the four etanercept-treated cases in which the patient had elevated HBV-DNA levels, antiviral prophylaxis was also administered. Antiviral treatment was also administered in seven patients receiving other treatments: lamivudine in one, adefovir in one and entecavir in five. Clinical outcomes were satisfactory in all 10 cases of HBV reactivation.
Conclusions: Hepatitis B virus reactivation was found in 15 (12.3%) patients among the 122 HBsAg-positive patients with rheumatic diseases treated with anti-TNF agents or DMARDs.
Keywords: DMARD; anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy; hepatitis B virus reactivation; rheumatic diseases.
© 2013 Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.