Hepatitis B virus long-term impact of antiviral therapy nucleot(s)ide analogues (NUCs)

Glenda Grossi, Mauro Viganò, Alessandro Loglio, Pietro Lampertico

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The goal of antiviral therapy is to improve the quality of life and survival of patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) by halting the progression to cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), thus preventing anticipated liver-related death. Oral administration of potent and less resistance-prone nucleot(s)ide analogues (NUCs), such as entecavir (ETV) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) has become the most popular treatment strategy worldwide because of their excellent efficacy and safety profile as well as easy management confirmed in both registration trials and in clinical practice studies. Long-term administration of ETV or TDF suppresses HBV replication in >95% of patients, resulting in biochemical remission, histological improvement including the regression of cirrhosis and prevention or reversal of clinical decompensation but not the development of HCC, particularly in patients with cirrhosis. Moreover, NUCs can be administered to all patients including those with severe liver disease, the elderly and in those who do not respond, are unwilling to take or have contraindications to interferon. The need for long-term, perhaps indefinite, treatment is the main limitation of NUCs therapy with the associated costs, unknown long-term safety and the low rates of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) seroclearance, which is still the best stopping rule for NUCs-treated patients with cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalLiver International
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • cirrhosis
  • hepatitis B
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • nucleot(s)ides analogues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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