On-treatment and off-treatment efficacy of entecavir in a real-life cohort of chronic hepatitis B patients

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Background and aims

Entecavir (ETV) is a potent nucleoside analogue with high genetic barrier to resistance. In this study, real-life clinical experiences in the long-term use of ETV and the durability of its off-treatment effectiveness were analyzed.

Materials and methods

This study was based on a large real-life cohort of 2240 chronic hepatitis B patients treated with ETV between January 2006 and December 2012 using a centralized electronic data repository.


Among 2240 patients, 804 patients were treatment naive and underwent ETV monotherapy. Their mean treatment duration was 712±493 days, with a cumulative proportion of patients achieving HBV DNA less than 300 copies/ml in 85.8, 95.7, and 97.6% at years 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Predictors for earlier virologic response were female sex, lower HBV DNA, higher alanine transaminase, lower platelet count, and HBeAg negativity at baseline. In patients who achieved virologic response and HBeAg loss, the cumulative relapse rate was 91.3% in 2 years after the cessation of treatment. During the treatment, 34 patients developed hepatocellular carcinoma, among whom 30 patients had cirrhosis before treatment initiation. ETV treatment showed efficient virologic response as the treatment duration was extended, but off-treatment efficacy was not durable, and the antiviral treatment showed some limitation in preventing hepatocellular carcinoma among liver cirrhosis patients, implying that treatment cessation should be taken into consideration more carefully.


This study from a real-life cohort may provide data on treating chronic hepatitis B patients more close to everyday clinical practice.

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