Which patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection will respond to alpha-interferon therapy? A statistical analysis of predictive factors

Hepatology. 1989 Nov;10(5):761-3. doi: 10.1002/hep.1840100502.


Twenty-one pretreatment variables were assessed for their significance in response prediction using data from 114 patients given alpha-interferon for chronic hepatitis B virus infection. In those patients who had received a minimum of 90 million units per m2 total dose over 12 weeks, a negative anti-human immunodeficiency virus antibody status (p less than 0.001), chronic active hepatitis on liver biopsy (p less than 0.005), high AST level (p less than 0.001), low hepatitis B virus DNA level (p less than 0.001) and a history of acute hepatitis (p less than 0.005) were all associated with an increased likelihood of response on univariate analysis. On stepwise logistic regression analysis, hepatitis B virus DNA, AST and a history of acute hepatitis predicted response independently (p less than 0.05). The most reliable combination of predictive factors was a negative anti-human immunodeficiency virus antibody status, with either a positive history of acute icteric hepatitis and AST greater than 45 IU per liter or no history of acute icteric hepatitis and AST greater than 85 IU per liter, which predicted response in 77% with a specificity of 79% (p less than 0.001). The loss of HBsAg in addition to HBeAg and hepatitis B virus DNA was more likely to occur in patients with chronic infection of less than 2 years duration (p less than 0.001).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / analysis
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • HIV Antibodies / analysis
  • Hepatitis B / immunology
  • Hepatitis B / therapy*
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / analysis
  • Hepatitis B e Antigens / analysis
  • Hepatitis B virus / analysis
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / immunology
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / therapeutic use*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • DNA, Viral
  • HIV Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Hepatitis B e Antigens
  • Interferon Type I
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases