BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss is the hallmark of a complete response to antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis B. In this study, we investigated the frequency of HBsAg loss after treatment with pegylated (Peg)-interferon α-2b. METHODS: In a multicenter randomized controlled trial, 266 HBeAg-positive patients were treated for 52 wks with Peg-interferon α-2b (100 μg/wk) in combination with either lamivudine (100 mg/day) or placebo. Posttreatment follow-up was 26 wks. RESULTS: At the end of follow-up, 95 (36%) of the 266 patients exhibited HBeAg loss, 18 (7%) HBsAg loss, and 16 (6%) HBsAg seroconversion. Addition of lamivudine did not enhance HBeAg loss, HBsAg loss, or development of anti-HBs. All 18 patients who showed HBsAg loss had normal ALT; 11 (61%) of these patients were also hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA negative (<400 copies/mL) at the end of follow-up. Loss of HBsAg differed according to HBV genotype: 14% for genotype A, 9% for genotype B, 3% for genotype C, and 2% for genotype D (A vs D: p= 0.006). CONCLUSIONS: One year of Peg-interferon α-2b for HBeAg-positive patients led to HBsAg loss in 7%. Our study indicates that treatment with Peg-interferon α-2b is the best therapy to achieve HBsAg clearance in patients with genotype A.,
American Journal of Gastroenterology
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Flink, H., van Zonneveld, M., Hansen, B., de Man, R., Schalm, S., & Janssen, H. (2006). Treatment with Peg-interferon α-2b for HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B: HBsAg loss is associated with HBV genotype. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 101(2), 297–303. doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2006.00418.x