37 HBsAg chronic carriers, with and without liver disease, were evaluated for the presence of serum IgM/HBs complex and correlated with histological diagnosis, tissue HBV markers (HBsAg, HBcAg), serum HBe/Anti HBe system, anti-core of IgM type (IgM-HBcAb), autoantibodies and non-specific circulating complement fixing immunocomplexes (CIC). We observed a statistically significant correlation between the presence of IgM/HBs complex and the severity of liver disease (p <0.05). Core antigen (HBcAg) in tissue showed a higher frequency in patients positive for the complex in all groups. HBe antigen (HBcAg) was found only in patients with liver disease and positive for the complex. Antibody to e-antigen (HBcAb) was found to have a higher frequency in patients negative for the complex, in all groups. We observed, furthermore, a strict correlation between serum IgM/HBs complex and circulating Dane particles which, in one patient, were seen to precede the IgM/HBs complex appearance. No difference was found regarding IgM-HBcAb and CIC frequency. The frequency of autoantibodies was not seen to differ except for the anti-smooth muscle antibody which appears in 90.4% of patients positive for IgM/HBs complex (p <0.01). In conclusion, our data suggest that the IgM/HBs complex in the chronic stage of HBV infection is associated with severe liver disease and a high frequency of core antigen in the tissue and e antigen and circulating complete virus in the serum. The IgM/HBs complex could therefore represent a further useful marker in the clinical evaluation of HBV chronic carriers.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Italian Journal of Gastroenterology|
|Publication status||Published - 1985|
ASJC Scopus subject areas