Natural History of Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Ahvaz City, Iran

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Infectious and Tropical Disease Research Center, Health Research Institute, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

2 Virology Department, School of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

3 Blood Transfusion Research Center, High Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion Medicine, Tehran, Iran.

4 Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran.

5 Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Imamkhomini hospital, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.


Objective: A long persistent of Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) infection may develop liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular
carcinoma (HCC) and about one million people die due to HBV -related liver cancer and end-stage liver disease annually
worldwide. The natural history of CHB phases comprises four phases: immune tolerant (HBeAg detectable and ALT
(Alanine Transaminase) normal, HBeAg-positive immune active (HBeAg detectable, anti-HBe antibodies undetectable
and ALT persistently elevated), HBeAg-negative immune active (HBeAg undetectable, anti-HBe antibodies present
and ALT persistently elevated), inactive carrier (HBeAg undetectable, anti-HBe antibodies present and ALT normal).
The evaluation of chronic hepatitis B phases is a crucial to manage the burden of disease and limit the development
of associated complications, such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Thus this study conducted to
evaluate the natural history of HBV infection in patients with chronic HBV infection in Ahvaz city, Iran. Methods: In
this study, 71 non-treated CHB individuals were recruited including 44 (62%) males and 27(38%) females. The sera
were tested for HBV markers, HBsAg, HBcIgG, HBeAg, and HBeAb. ALT assay and HBV viral load were carried out
for each CHB individual. Results: Based on the analysis of serological, ALT status and viral load, the results showed:
immune tolerance 5(7%), eAg+ Immune Clearance 14(19.7%), eAg- Immune Clearance 29 (40.84%) and Inactive
Carrier 23 (32.39%). The HBeAg seroconversion was observed in a male age 18 year. Conclusion: The results of
the natural history of individuals with chronic hepatitis B phases CHB shows immune tolerance (7%), eAg+ Immune
Clearance (19.7%), eAg- Immune Clearance (40.84%) and Inactive Carrier (32.39%). To prevent the consequence of
CHB infection, an individual in immune tolerance phase should be tested periodically for ALT level, HBV markers,
HBsAg, HBcIgG, HBeAg, HBeAb and HBV viral load. Then decision-making therapy can be applied for CHB patients
at early stage of immune clearance.


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