Incidence and prediction of HBsAg seroclearance in a prospective multi-ethnic HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B cohort.
Robert P. Perrillo, M.D.
Terrault, N. A., Wahed, A. S., Feld, J. J., Cooper, S. L., Ghany, M. G., Lisker-Melman, M., Perrillo, R., Sterling, R. K., Khalili, M., Chung, R. T., Rosenthal, P., Fontana, R. J., Sarowar, A., Lau, D. T. Y., Wang, J., Lok, A. S. and Janssen, H. L. A. (2022). “Incidence and prediction of HBsAg seroclearance in a prospective multi-ethnic HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B cohort.” Hepatology 75(3): 709-723.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Achieving HBsAg loss is an important landmark in the natural history of chronic hepatitis B (CHB). A more personalized approach to prediction of HBsAg loss is relevant in counseling patients. This study sought to develop and validate a prediction model for HBsAg loss based on quantitative HBsAg levels (qHBsAg) and other baseline characteristics. METHODS: The Hepatitis B Research Network (HBRN) is a prospective cohort including 1240 untreated HBeAg-negative patients (1150 adults, 90 children) with median follow-up of 5.5 years. Incidence rates of HBsAg loss and hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) acquisition were determined, and a predictor score of HBsAg loss using readily available variables was developed and externally validated. RESULTS: Crude incidence rates of HBsAg loss and anti-HBs acquisition were 1.6 and 1.1 per 100 person-years (PY); 67 achieved sustained HBsAg loss for an incidence rate of 1.2 per 100 PY. Increased HBsAg loss was significantly associated with older age, non-Asian race, HBV phenotype (inactive CHB vs. others), HBV genotype A, lower HBV-DNA levels, and lower and greater change in qHBsAg. The HBRN-SQuARe (sex,∆quantHBsAg, age, race) score predicted HBsAg loss over time with area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) (95% CIs) at 1 and 3 years of 0.99 (95% CI: 0.987-1.00) and 0.95 (95% CI 0.91-1.00), respectively. In validation in another cohort of 1253 HBeAg-negative patients with median follow-up of 3.1 years, HBRN SQuARe predicted HBsAg loss at 1 and 3 years with AUROC values of 0.99 (0.98-1.00) and 0.88 (0.77-0.99), respectively. CONCLUSION: HBsAg loss in predominantly untreated patients with HBeAg-negative CHB can be accurately predicted over a 3-year horizon using a simple validated score (HBRN SQuARe). This prognostication tool can be used to support patient care and counseling.