Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29738637
Link to DOI – 10.1111/liv.13874
Liver Int 2018 Dec; 38(12): 2159-2169
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients treated with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) became an issue. However, its frequency has been poorly estimated, because of the varying definitions used and evaluation of heterogeneous study populations, including those concurrently treated for HBV.We prospectively followed HBV surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive Egyptians undergoing interferon-free DAAs, to estimate the risk of HBV reactivation and HBV-related hepatitis. We also conducted a meta-analysis to estimate the reactivation risk using published data obtained from a systematic review of PubMed/Embase, in addition to our Egyptian data. We applied a standard definition of HBV reactivation proposed by the international liver associations (APASL and AASLD).Of 4471 CHC patients, 35 HBsAg-positive patients started interferon-free DAAs without HBV nucleos(t)ide analogues in our Egyptian cohort. Ten experienced HBV reactivation (28.6%), of whom 1 developed hepatitis (10.0%). Our systematic review identified 18 papers. The pooled reactivation risk in HBsAg-positive patients was 18.2% (95% CI: 7.9%-30.7%) without HBV therapy and 0.0% (95% CI: 0.0%-0.0%) with HBV nucleos(t)ide analogue. The pooled risk of hepatitis in those with HBV reactivation was 12.6% (95% CI: 0.0%-34.7%). The pooled reactivation risk in HBsAg-negative, antibody to HBV core antigen-positive (anti-HBc-positive) patients was negligible (0.1%, 95% CI: 0.0%-0.3%), irrespective of the presence of antibody to HBsAg (anti-HBs).We confirmed high HBV reactivation risk in HBsAg-positive patients undergoing DAAs, with only a minority developing clinically important hepatitis. The risk is negligible for HBsAg-negative anti-HBc-positive patients.