Background: Fibrosis regression has been associated with nucleoside analogue (NA) treatment in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. Although non-invasive fibrosis markers have been evaluated in CHB, their utility for monitoring on-treatment histologic regression has not been evaluated. Aims: To characterize improvements in disease severity and the utility of non-invasive biomarkers in CHB NA treated patients. Methods: Histology, labs, AST-to-platelet ratio index, and Fibrosis-4 (Fib-4) from treatment-naïve CHB patients were evaluated at baseline and longitudinally. Relative change from baseline to various time points during treatment were evaluated. Correlative analysis of APRI and Fib-4 with histology was performed longitudinally. Results: 80 CHB patients (84% male, median age 45 (IQR 32, 54)) with histology up to 17 years (median 6(IQR 3.9, 8.0)) years were studied. Median baseline Ishak fibrosis was 3 (IQR 2, 4), histologic activity index (HAI) inflammation was 9 (IQR 7, 11), and AUROC of fibrosis markers for detecting cirrhosis (Ishak ≥ 5) was >0.64. HAI improved at a rate of 54% during year 1 and 37% in year 2, both greater than in the remaining follow-up periods. Within the first year, fibrosis improved by 35%, greater than all other time periods. Non-invasive biomarkers began to correlate with histology beyond 4 years (APRI: 4–6 years: r = 0.33, p = 0.03; ≥6 years: r = 0.41, p = 0.009; Fib-4: ≥6 years: r = 0.35, p = 0.03). Conclusion: Early dynamic changes in histology occur in CHB patients on NA followed by linear improvements. Non-invasive fibrosis biomarkers do not capture these dynamic changes and may demonstrate clinical utility beyond 4 years of treatment.
- Hepatitis B
- Non-invasive markers of fibrosis
- Nucleoside analogues
ASJC Scopus subject areas