e/Anti-e system in chronic hepatitis B: A marker related to the histologic damage?

A. Picciotto, V. Savarino, G. Celle

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The authors report the findings of a study aimed at assessing the correlation between e/anti-e system and the liver damage in chronic hepatitis B. Additionally these markers were related to the age of patients. A total of 70 HBsAg-sero-positive patients were studied. Histology of liver biopsies showed chronic persistent hepatitis (CPH) in 26 cases and chronic active hepatitis (CAH) in 44 cases, HBsAg, HBeAg, anti-HBe were determined by commercial SPRIA. The results show that e/anti-e system is not related to the morphological picture of the liver. HBeAg prevalence in younger patients with a mean age significantly lower than that of anti-HBe positive ones supports the hypothesis that HBeAg seroconversion inevitably occurs in the natural history of chronic HBsAg carriers. HBeAg is therefore found in patients undergoing HBV infection more recently than anti-Hbe positive patients. However seroconversion does not reflect an improvement of liver damage. In fact, the presence of anti-HBe in a considerable number of HBsAg positive CAH, shows that this marker does not imply a good prognosis. e/Anti-e system should only be regarded as a marker related to viral replication and therefore to patient infectivity. Besides it could supply indications related to the age of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-286
Number of pages2
JournalIRCS Medical Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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