Hepatitis B treatment recommendations

The American Association for the Study of Liver Disease has made recommendations for treating long-term (chronic) hepatitis B. These recommendations are based on the presence of hepatitis B antigens in your blood, the level of hepatitis B viral DNA (HBV DNA) in your blood, and the levels of your liver enzymes.

Chronic hepatitis B can be HBeAg-positive or -negative. This means a specific hepatitis B antigen (HBeAg) is present (positive) or is not present (negative) in your blood. High levels of HBV DNA and liver enzymes may be present in both of these types of chronic hepatitis. This signifies an active viral infection and increased risk of liver damage.

Treatment with antiviral medicine is recommended if you are:1

  • HBeAg-positive and have high levels of HBV DNA, and your liver enzymes are more than twice the normal level.
  • HBeAg-negative and have lower levels of HBV DNA, and your liver enzymes are more than twice the normal level.
  • Either HBeAg-positive or negative, have high levels of HBV DNA, and have cirrhosis.

Treatment with antiviral medicine is not recommended if you are:1

  • HBeAg-positive and have high levels of HBV DNA, and your liver enzymes are less than twice the normal level.
  • HBeAg-negative and have low levels of HBV DNA, and your liver enzymes are less than twice the normal level.

If you are either HBeAg-positive or -negative, have low levels of HBV DNA, and have cirrhosis, you may be monitored or need a liver transplant.

Citations

  1. Lok ASF, McMahon BJ (2007). Chronic hepatitis B. Hepatology, 45(2): 507–539.

Last Updated: August 6, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.