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Large and middle hepatitis B surface antigen: the lower the better?
  1. Hsuan-Ho Lin1,
  2. Tai-Chung Tseng1,2,
  3. Jia-Horng Kao2,3,4
  1. 1 Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  2. 2 Hepatitis Research Center, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  3. 3 Department of Medical Research, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  4. 4 Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jia-Horng Kao, Hepatitis Research Center, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei 10002, Taiwan; kaojh{at}

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We read with great interest the article entitled ‘Quantification of large and middle proteins of hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) as a novel tool for the identification of inactive HBV carriers’ by Pfefferkorn et al.1 Serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) level has been shown to complement HBV DNA level in predicting clinical outcomes of patients with chronic HBV infection.2 3 In Asian patients, mostly genotype B and C infection, with a low viral load (HBV DNA ≤2000 IU/mL), HBsAg level >1000 IU/mL indicates …

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  • Contributors HHL and TCT drafted the manuscript. JHK did the critical review of the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by the grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Executive Yuan, Taiwan (MOST 105-2314-B-303-008).

  • Competing interests JHK is the consultant for Abbvie, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Gilead Sciences; on speaker’s bureau for Abbvie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences and Merck.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.