Gut 56:699-705 doi:10.1136/gut.2005.089722
  • Hepatitis

Predicting response to peginterferon α-2a, lamivudine and the two combined for HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B

  1. F Bonino1,
  2. P Marcellin2,
  3. G K K Lau3,
  4. S Hadziyannis4,
  5. R Jin5,
  6. T Piratvisuth6,
  7. G Germanidis7,
  8. C Yurdaydin8,
  9. M Diago9,
  10. S Gurel10,
  11. M-Y Lai11,
  12. M R Brunetto12,
  13. P Farci13,
  14. M Popescu14,
  15. P McCloud15,
  16. for the Peginterferon Alfa-2a HBeAg-Negative Chronic Hepatitis B Study Group
  1. 1University of Pisa and Foundation IRCCS, Policlinico di Milano, Milan, Italy
  2. 2Service d’Hépatologie, INSERM Unite 481 and Centre de Recherches Claude Bernard sur les Hépatite Virales, Hôpital Beaujon, Clichy, France
  3. 3Queen Mary Hospital, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  4. 4Department of Medicine and Hepatology, Henry Dunant Hospital, Athens, Greece
  5. 5Digestive Disease Department, Beijing You An Hospital, Beijing, China
  6. 6Department of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Songkla, Thailand
  7. 7Pathology Clinic, Papageorgiou General Hospital, Thessalonika, Greece
  8. 8Faculty of Medicine, University of Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
  9. 9Hospital General Universitario de Valencia, Valencia, Spain
  10. 10University of Uludag, Faculty of Medicine, Bursa, Turkey
  11. 11Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
  12. 12Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Pisana, Pisa, Italy
  13. 13Universita di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
  14. 14Roche, Basel, Switzerland
  15. 15Roche, Dee Why, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor F Bonino
    Fondazione Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Policlinico, Via Francesco Sforza 28, 20122 Milano, Italy; bonino{at}
  • Accepted 10 October 2006
  • Revised 28 September 2006
  • Published Online First 24 November 2006


Objective: In a trial of patients with hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-negative chronic hepatitis B, 24 week post-treatment biochemical and virological response rates with peginterferon α-2a with or without lamivudine were significantly higher than with lamivudine alone. The effect of pre-treatment factors on post-treatment responses was investigated.

Methods: Multivariate analyses were performed using available data from 518 patients treated with peginterferon α-2a with or without lamivudine, or with lamivudine alone. A post-treatment response was defined as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) normalisation and hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA level of <20 000 copies/ml.

Results: In logistic regression analyses across all treatment arms, peginterferon α-2a (with or without lamivudine) therapy, younger age, female gender, high baseline ALT, low baseline HBV DNA and HBV genotype were identified as significant predictors of combined response at 24 weeks post-treatment. In the peginterferon α-2a and lamivudine monotherapy arms, patients with genotypes B or C had a higher chance of response than genotype D infected patients (p<0.001), the latter responding better to the combination than to peginterferon α-2a monotherapy (p = 0.015). At 1 year post-treatment, response rates by intention-to-treat analysis were 19.2% for the peginterferon α-2a, 19.0% for the combination, and 10.0% for the lamivudine groups, with genotypes B or C associated with a sustained combined response to peginterferon α-2a with or without lamivudine therapy.

Conclusions: Baseline ALT and HBV DNA levels, patient age, gender, and infecting HBV genotype significantly influenced combined response at 24 weeks post-treatment, in patients treated with peginterferon α-2a and/or lamivudine. At 1 year post-treatment HBV genotype was significantly predictive of efficacy for patients treated with peginterferon α-2a with or without lamivudine.


  • Published Online First 23 November 2006

  • Funding: Supported by a research grant from Roche, Basel, Switzerland.