Many studies have shown that hepatitis B virus infection may also occur in hepatitis B surface antigen-negative patients. This occult infection has been identified both in patients with cryptogenic liver disease and in patients with hepatitis C virus-related chronic hepatitis, and much evidence suggests that it may be a risk factor of hepatocellular carcinoma development. However, several aspects of this occult infection remain unclear, such as its prevalence and the factor(s) involved in the lack of circulating hepatitis B surface antigen. Moreover, it is uncertain whether the occult hepatitis B virus infection may contribute to chronic liver damage, considering that it is usually associated with a suppressed viral replication. Evidence and hypotheses concerning this fascinating field of bio-medical research are reviewed.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Digestive and Liver Disease|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|
- HBV genome
- Liver disease
- Liver DNA
ASJC Scopus subject areas