Relationship between hepatitis B virus genotype B and C and response to interferon therapy in HBeAg positive chronic hepatitis B patients: A meta-analysis

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Background and Aims:

Previous studies examining the relationship between hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype B and C and response to interferon therapy in Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis B patients have yielded conflicting results. We aim to summarize data to reach firm conclusions on the role of HBV genotype B and C in response to interferon therapy.


PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for relevant articles published up to March 2013. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated by fixed- or random-effects models. Heterogeneity, sensitivity analysis, and publication bias were also assessed.


Fifteen studies were identified. All studies except for those evaluating the rate of end-of-treatment HBeAg seroconversion exhibited significant heterogeneity. There were significant differences in rates of end-of-treatment alanine aminotransferase (ALT) normalization, HBV DNA negative, and HBeAg seroconversion between the genotype B and genotype C groups, but not in HBeAg clearance. The pooled results showed higher rates of sustained ALT normalization (OR = 2.24, 95%CI 1.53–3.27), HBV DNA negative (OR = 2.60, 95%CI 1.65–4.12), HBeAg clearance (OR = 2.13, 95%CI 1.29–3.52) and HBeAg seroconversion (OR = 1.95, 95%CI 1.27–2.98) in patients with genotype B than those with genotype C. The sensitivity analysis did not alter the effects observed in the primary analysis. There was no evidence of publication bias except for HBeAg clearance rate.


The results of the current meta-analysis indicate that HBV genotype B patients receiving interferon therapy respond better to treatment compared with genotype C patients, but this needs to be further examined.

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