Background & aims: The effects of long-term antiviral therapy on survival have not been adequately assessed in chronic hepatitis B (CHB). In this 10-centre, ongoing cohort study, we evaluated the probability of survival and factors affecting survival in Caucasian CHB patients who received long-term entecavir/tenofovir therapy.
Methods: We included 1,951 adult Caucasians with CHB, with or without compensated cirrhosis and without hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) at baseline, who received entecavir/tenofovir for ≥12 months (median, six years). Kaplan-Meier estimates of cumulative survival over time were obtained. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated by comparing death rates with those in the Human Mortality Database.
Results: The one-, five-, and eight-year cumulative probabilities were 99.7, 95.9, and 94.1% for overall survival, 99.9, 98.3, and 97.4% for liver-related survival, and 99.9, 97.8, and 95.8% for transplantation-free liver-related survival, respectively. Overall mortality was independently associated with older age and HCC development, liver-related mortality was associated with HCC development only, and transplantation-free liver-related mortality was independently associated with HCC development and lower platelet levels at baseline. Baseline cirrhosis was not independently associated with any type of mortality. Compared with the general population, in all CHB patients mortality was not significantly different (SMR 0.82), whereas it was lower in patients without HCC regardless of baseline cirrhosis (SMR 0.58) and was higher in patients who developed HCC (SMR 3.09).
Conclusion: Caucasian patients with CHB and compensated liver disease who receive long-term entecavir/tenofovir therapy have excellent overall and liver-related eight-year survival, which is similar to that of the general population. HCC is the main factor affecting their overall mortality, and is the only factor affecting their liver-related mortality.
Lay summary: Caucasian patients with chronic hepatitis B with or without compensated cirrhosis who receive long-term entecavir or tenofovir therapy have excellent overall eight-year survival, which is similar to that of the general population. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the main factor affecting their overall mortality, and is the only factor affecting liver-related mortality in this setting.
Keywords: Antiviral therapy; Cirrhosis; Hepatitis B; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liver transplantation.
Copyright © 2018 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.