The emergence of new and more potent treatment options has markedly changed the treatment landscape of chronic hepatitis B. Both peginterferon and nucleos(t)ide analogues have considerable advantages and limitations, and current treatment guidelines refrain from clearly suggesting a first-line treatment option. Peginterferon offers the advantage of higher sustained response rates in both hepatitis B early antigen (HBeAg)-positive and HBeAg-negative patients, at the price of considerable side effects and high costs. Nucleos(t)ide analogues offer easy daily oral dosing, and newly registered agents can maintain viral suppression for prolonged treatment duration. However, relapse is common after therapy discontinuation and extended therapy therefore often necessary. Prolonged treatment with nucleos(t)ide analogues may enhance chances of virologic and serologic response at the potential cost of the emergence of viral resistance and side effects. Baseline and on-treatment prediction of response may help select patients for peginterferon therapy and can aid individualized treatment decisions concerning therapy continuation or discontinuation.

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Current Hepatitis Reports
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Sonneveld, M., & Janssen, H. (2010). Pros and cons of peginterferon versus nucleos(t)ide analogues for treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Current Hepatitis Reports (Vol. 9, pp. 91–98). doi:10.1007/s11901-010-0041-7