Serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) pregenomic RNA (pgRNA) is correlated with covalently closed circular DNA. We aimed to investigate the utility of serum HBV pgRNA in chronic hepatitis B patients receiving nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment and those achieving HBsAg loss. One hun-dred and eighty-five patients were enrolled for studying long-term HBV pgRNA kinetics during treatment. Twenty patients achieving HBsAg loss after treatment were enrolled for examining HBV pgRNA kinetics around HBsAg loss. HBV pgRNA significantly decreased in the high baseline HBV pgRNA (≥6 log copies/mL) group but significantly increased in the low baseline HBV pgRNA (<4 log copies/mL) group after 3-month entecavir treatment. Among the 20 patients achieving HBsAg loss, 13 (65%) patients had serum HBV pgRNA higher than the limit of detection (LOD, 1466 cop-ies/mL) when they achieved HBsAg loss. Finally, all 20 patients had HBV pgRNA going below the LOD within 3 years after achieving HBsAg loss. In conclusion, baseline serum HBV pgRNA alone is insufficient for predicting the trajectory of HBV pgRNA. Most patients still had HBV pgRNA higher than the LOD when they achieved HBsAg loss. Further studies on HBV pgRNA kinetics around HBsAg loss would provide an enhanced basis for further applications of HBV pgRNA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)