A randomised controlled trial was conducted in 29 HBV carriers who had been HBs and HBe antigen positive for more than six months. Fifteen patients were treated with ARA-AMP 10 mg/kg/day given as intramuscular injections 12 hours apart for five days followed by 5 mg/kg/day for 23 days. The 14 controls received no treatment. Serum HBV-DNA polymerase, and HBV-DNA decreased in all patients during therapy. Six treated patients lost serum HBV-DNA polymerase, HBV-DNA and HBeAg, HBsAg concentrations decreased, and five developed anti-HBe. One of these six patients lost HBsAg and developed anti-HBs. No such changes were observed in the control group over a similar 18 month period of observation. A four week course of ARA-AMP inhibits HBV replication and in a significant minority of patients this is long lasting and is associated with a reduced level of inflammatory activity in the liver.
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