Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 33331880
Link to DOI – 10.1093/cid/ciaa1814
Clin Infect Dis 2021 Sep; 73(5): e1072-e1077
Treatment eligibility and the accuracy of its simplified criteria have been poorly documented in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries.From a cohort of HBV-infected patients in Vietnam, we assessed the proportion of patients eligible for treatment using the national guidelines based on reference tests (HBV DNA quantification and FibroScan); and the accuracy of simplified treatment criteria free from HBV DNA and FibroScan (Treatment Eligibility in Africa for the Hepatitis B Virus [TREAT-B] score and simplified World Health Organization [WHO] criteria) to select patients for antiviral therapy using the national guidelines as a reference.We analyzed 400 consecutive treatment-naïve HBV-monoinfected patients: 49% males, median age 38 years (range, 18-86), 32% hepatitis B e antigen-positive, median HBV DNA 4.8 log10 IU/mL (undetectable -8.4), median FibroScan 5.3 kPa (3.0-67.8), and 25% having significant liver fibrosis including 12% with cirrhosis. Of these, 167 (42%) fulfilled treatment criteria according to national guidelines. Using the national criteria as a reference, the performance of TREAT-B to select patients for treatment was high (area under the receiver operating characteristic [AUROC], 0.89 [95% confidence interval 0.87-0.92]) with a sensitivity of 74.3% and a specificity of 88.4%. In a subset of patients with 2 alanine aminotransferase measurements over a 6-month period (n = 89), the AUROC of TREAT-B was significantly higher than that of the simplified WHO criteria (P < .001).Our study suggests that a large proportion of patients with chronic HBV infection require antiviral therapy in Vietnam. Compared with the simplified WHO criteria free from HBV DNA quantification, TREAT-B is a better alternative to easily indicate treatment eligibility and might help scale up treatment intervention in Vietnam.