Background & Aims: Long-term viral suppression is a major goal to prevent disease progression in patients with HBV. Aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of entecavir plus tenofovir combination in 57 CHB partial responders or multidrug resistant patients. Methods: Investigator-initiated open-label cohort study. Quantitative HBV-DNA measurement and resistance testing (line-probe-assays and direct-sequencing) at baseline and every 3 months. Results: Fifty seven patients (37 HBeAg+), median age 45 years, previously treated with a median of three lines of antiviral therapy (range 1-6), 24/57 with advanced liver disease, were included. Median ALT at baseline was 1.0 ULN (range 0.3-22) and HBV-DNA 1.5 × 104IU/ml (range 500-1 × 1011IU/ml). Median treatment duration of combination therapy was 21 months. HBV-DNA level dropped 3 logs (median, range 0-8 log; p <0.0001), 51/57 patients became HBV-DNA undetectable, median after 6 months (95% CI, 4.6-7). The probability for HBV DNA suppression was not reduced in patients with adefovir or entecavir resistance or in patients with advanced liver disease. Viral suppression led to decline in ALT (median 0.7 ULN; range 0.2-2.4; p = 0.001). Five patients lost HBeAg (after 15, 18, 20, 21, and 27 months, respectively), one patient showed HBs-seroconversion. Patients with advanced disease did not show clinical decompensation, two patients with cirrhosis and undetectable HBV DNA developed HCCs. No death, newly induced renal impairment or lactic acidosis were reported. Conclusions: Rescue therapy with entecavir and tenofovir in CHB patients harboring viral resistance patterns or showing only partial antiviral responses to preceding therapies was efficient, safe, and well tolerated in patients with and without advanced liver disease (249).

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Journal of Hepatology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Petersen, J., Ratziu, V., Buti, M., Janssen, H., Brown, A., Lampertico, P., … Buggisch, P. (2012). Entecavir plus tenofovir combination as rescue therapy in pre-treated chronic hepatitis B patients: An international multicenter cohort study. Journal of Hepatology, 56(3), 520–526. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2011.09.018