Vol 5-4 Case Report

Vagaries of the Host Response to Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection: What is the Ultimate Outcome of So-called "Asymptomatic HBV Carriers" Observed Over Several Decades?

Nicholas Noverati1, Daniel Garrido1,2, Dina Halegoua-DeMarzio1,2, Hie-Won Hann1,2,3*

1Department of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA 19107 USA

2Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA 19107

3Liver Disease Prevention Center, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA 19107 USA

Introduction: Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is prevalent worldwide and up to 40% is known to progress to serious complications including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The outcome of the remaining infected individuals is not well documented. Our case series describes a longer cohort of chronic HBV infections that have remained asymptomatic with no progression of liver disease.

Case Series: Thirty-three patients (ages 31-84) with chronic HBV infection were identified. All patients had no significant elevations in transaminase levels and were followed over 32 years, collectively. 18/33 had a fluctuating greater magnitude of HBV viral load with no elevations in tumor marker or significant radiographic changes to their liver.

Discussion/Conclusion: Chronic HBV infection can lead to serious complications over time, the mechanism of which are not well understood. The variation in patients that do and do not develop these complications stresses the importance of the individual response to the virus and may highlight host immune response differences.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-3009/2021/4.1224 View / Download Pdf