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Interferon for hepatitis B: US experience.
  1. R P Perrillo
  1. Gastroenterology Section, Veterans Administration Medical Center, St Louis, Missouri 63106.

    Abstract

    This paper reviews the results of recent studies carried out in the USA on the treatment of chronic hepatitis B with interferon alfa-2b. In the US multicentre trial, 37% of patients lost hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and hepatitis B virus (HBV)-DNA when treated with 5 million units (MU) daily for 16 weeks, compared to 42% in the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) trial treated with 10 MU thrice weekly for 16 weeks. In both studies, the loss of HBeAg and HBV-DNA was associated with virological, biochemical, histological, and clinical improvement. Long term follow up in the National Institutes of Health study showed that 65% of responders had disappearance of HBsAg over a mean of four years, suggesting that termination of the HBV carrier state may be possible.

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