Background: The relationship between age and serum HBV DNA levels with histological activity in chronic hepatitis B inactive carriers is still unclear. We evaluated the correlation between age and hepatitis B viral DNA levels with Metavir score in inactive chronic HBV carriers.
Methods: 50 patients (30 males and 20 females) were enrolled in the study after informed consent. Their blood samples were taken for routine investigations and specific tests for the study. Serum HBV DNA levels were quantified by real-time PCR. Metavir score was used for histologic grading.
Results: A1F0, A1F1, A1F2, A2F2 and A2F3 metavir scores were found in 41 (82%), 4 (8%), 1 (2%), 3 (6%), and 1 (2%) patients, respectively. There was significant correlation between age > 40 years and Metavir scores (p < 0.001). However there was no significant correlation between HBV DNA level with Metavir score (p = 0.074).
Conclusion: Inactive carriers of 40 years of age or more should undergo liver biopsy to look for presence of significant histological findings despite having low HBV DNA level and normal SGPT level.