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26 February 2010

Relationship between serum HBV DNA level and liver histology in HBV carriers with normal ALT in Guilan province, Iran

Fariborz Mansour-GhanaeiABCDEFG, Rahmatollah RafieiBCDEF, Farahnaz JoukarABCFG, Mohammadreza NaghipourBCD, Sepiedeh BesharatiBCDF, Keyvan AminianABF, Zahra Atrkar-RoushanBCF

Med Sci Monit 2010; 16(3): BR97-101 :: ID: 878456

Abstract

Background
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major health problem. The aim of this study was to determine the serum HBV DNA levels in HBeAg-negative HBV patients and look for a relationship between serum HBV DNA level and liver histology.
Material and Method
In a cross-sectional study, 70 patients with positive serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and normal ALT for at least 6 months were enrolled. Quantification of HBV DNA was performed by real-time PCR. Liver biopsy specimens were performed for grading and staging of chronic hepatitis.
Results
Fifty-four patients (34 males, 20 females) were included. Mean + or - SD serum HBV DNA level was 282,280.46 + or - 1,474,295 copies/ml, fibrosis (0-6) 2.37 + or - 1.263, necroinflammation (0-18) 0.33 + or - 0.476, and BMI 26.65 + or - 4.9. The mean serum HBV DNA level had significant differences between grade <4 and grade > or = 4 cases (P<0.05). The relationship between serum HBV DNA level and liver grade was confirmed by the Kendall test (P<0.05). No significant relationship between serum HBV DNA level and liver histological stage, gender, age, BMI, or HBeAg was observed in these patients (P>0.05).
Conclusions
It is advantageous to measure serum HBV DNA level quantitatively in patients who are inactive carries of hepatitis B. If they have HBV DNA levels > or = 104 copies/ml, it will be necessary to perform a liver biopsy and apply therapy accordingly.

Keywords: Iran, Liver - virology, Hepatitis B virus - genetics, DNA, Viral - blood, Carrier State - virology, Alanine Transaminase - blood, young adult

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