HBeAg Negativity Is Associated With More Advanced Liver Fibrosis in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B: A Propensity Score-Matching Analysis : Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology

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HBeAg Negativity Is Associated With More Advanced Liver Fibrosis in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B

A Propensity Score-Matching Analysis

Wang, Jian MD, PhD*; Wu, Weihua MD*; Yan, Xiaomin MD*; Wei, Jie MD; Yao, Kefang MD; Yang, Yue MD*; Xiong, Yali MD, PhD*; Xia, Juan MD*; Liu, Yong PhD; Chen, Yuxin PhD; Jia, Bei MD*; Zhang, Zhaoping MD*; Ding, Weimao MD§; Huang, Rui MD, PhD*; Wu, Chao MD, PhD*

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Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 54(9):p 826-831, October 2020. | DOI: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001291



Serum hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) status is associated with the progression of chronic hepatitis B (CHB). The authors aimed to investigate the relationship between HBeAg status and liver pathology in CHB patients.


A total of 683 treatment-naive CHB patients who had undergone liver biopsy were retrospectively enrolled from 2 medical centers. Propensity score-matching (PSM) method was performed to adjust the imbalance of baseline confounders between HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative CHB patients.


HBeAg-negative CHB patients (n=338) exhibited more advanced liver fibrosis than HBeAg-positive CHB patients (n=345) before PSM (P<0.001). However, there were no significant differences in the distribution of inflammation grades between HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative CHB patients (P=0.051). Of these 683 CHB patients, 123 patients were included in each group after PSM. HBeAg-negative CHB patients still showed significantly advanced liver fibrosis as compared with HBeAg-positive CHB patients (P=0.03) after PSM. Furthermore, the distribution of liver inflammation grades in the HBeAg-negative CHB patients was also more severe than patients with HBeAg-positive (P=0.037). HBeAg-negative status was identified as an independent risk factor of significant liver fibrosis (P=0.011) by multivariate analysis.


HBeAg negativity is associated with more advanced liver fibrosis in CHB patients.

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