Entecavir Combined With Adefovir Ameliorates Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B Who Fail to Respond to Nucleotide (Acid) Analog Monotherapy

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of entecavir (ETV) combined treatment with adefovir (ADV) on chronic hepatitic B (CHB) patients who failed to respond to nucleotide (acid) analog (NA) treatment. On this basis, the possible factors in the combined treatment of these patients will be analyzed. The safety, biochemical index, and the possible factors that might affect the ETV and ADV combined treatment at different points in time were retrospectively analyzed. The biochemical index included the following: virological response, hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA decline, primary nonresponse, biochemical response, and the hepatitis B virus E antigen/hepatitis B virus E antibody seroconversion rate. There were 94 CHB patients and compensated liver cirrhosis patients who received ETV plus ADV treatment for over 12 weeks after failure of treatment with NAs. The authors have also investigated 76 CHB patients (80.9%) and 18 hepatitis B cirrhosis patients (19.1%) in this study. The HBV DNA baseline was 4.4 ± 1.4 log10 IU/mL, and the positive rate of HBeAg before salvage treatment was 78.7% (74/94). The sample sizes were 94, 78, 42, 10, 6, and 1 for follow-up of 24, 48, 96, 144, 192, and 240 weeks, respectively. The virological responses (HBV DNA < 2 log10 IU/mL) and biochemical responses were 52.1%, 74.3%, and 90.4% and 63.1%, 61.6%, and 81.1%, respectively, at 24, 48, and 96 weeks, which showed significant differences (P < 0.001 and P < 0.005, respectively). The HBV DNA decline was presented as mean ± SEM, which were 1.53 ± 1.23, 1.75 ± 1.37, 2.07 ± 1.54, and 2.39 ± 1.77 log10 IU/mL at 12, 24, 48, and 96 weeks, respectively. They showed significant differences compared with the baseline (χ2 = 8.084, P < 0.05). The rate of primary nonresponse was 30.9% (29/94), and the primary treatment failure rates were 26.6% (25/94), 24.4% (19/78), and 4.8% (2/42) at 24, 48, and 96 weeks, respectively. They all have statistical difference (P = 0.011 < 0.05). There were 23 patients who experienced virological breakthrough after the HBV DNA levels were undetectable, whereas after follow-up for 12–24 weeks, the HBV DNA levels were back to undetectable again. ETV plus ADV treatment is an efficient and safe treatment for CHB and compensated liver cirrhosis patients who experienced NA treatment failure. The high quantity of baseline HBV DNA level is a risk factor for poor efficacy of salvage treatment.

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