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Ann Lab Med. 2019 Jan;39(1):67-75. English. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.3343/alm.2019.39.1.67
Zhang ZQ , Wang YB , Lu W , Liu DP , Shi BS , Zhang XN , Huang D , Li XF , Zhou XL , Ding RR .
Department of Hepatobiliary Medicine, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center of Fudan University, Shanghai, China. doctorzzqsphc@163.com
Research Unit, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center of Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Abstract

Background

We examined changes in hepatitis B core-related antigen (HBcrAg) during the four sequential phases of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection: hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic infection (EPCI) and hepatitis (EPCH), followed by HBeAg-negative chronic infection (ENCI) and hepatitis (ENCH). We compared the performance of serum HBcrAg, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and HBV DNA in predicting EPCH and ENCH.

Methods

We enrolled 492 consecutive patients: 49 with EPCI, 243 with EPCH, 101 with ENCI, and 99 with ENCH. HBcrAg was detected by chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassays. HBsAg and HBeAg were detected by chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassays. HBV DNA was detected by real-time PCR. Predictive performance of HBcrAg, HBsAg, and HBV DNA was evaluated using ROC curves.

Results

Areas under ROC curves (AUCs) of HBcrAg, HBsAg, and HBV DNA for predicting EPCH were 0.738, 0.812, and 0.717, respectively; optimal cutoffs were ≤1.43×10⁵ kU/mL, ≤1.89×10⁴ IU/mL, and ≤3.97×10⁷ IU/mL, with sensitivities and specificities of 66.3% and 77.6%, 65.0% and 93.9%, and 60.5% and 79.6%, respectively. AUCs of HBcrAg, HBsAg, and HBV DNA for predicting ENCH were 0.887, 0.581, and 0.978, respectively; optimal cutoffs were >26.8 kU/mL, >2.29×10² IU/mL, and >8.75×10³ IU/mL, with sensitivities and specificities of 72.7% and 95.1%, 86.9% and 39.6%, and 89.9% and 92.1%, respectively.

Conclusions

HBsAg and HBV DNA were the best predictors of EPCH and ENCH, respectively. HBcrAg is an important surrogate marker for predicting EPCH and ENCH.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.