Journal of viral hepatitis 2016 8 3() doi 10.1111/jvh.12581
In hepatitis B "e" antigen (HBeAg) positive patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) mono-infection, intensification of nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment with pegylated interferon (PegIFN) could help induce higher HBeAg seroclearance rates. Our aim was to determine the long-term effect of adding PegIFN to tenofovir (TDF)-containing antiretroviral therapy on seroclearance in HBeAg-positive patients co-infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HBV. In this prospective matched cohort study, 46 patients with 1-year PegIFN intensification during TDF-containing antiretroviral therapy (TDF+PegIFN) were matched 1:1 to controls undergoing TDF without PegIFN (TDF) using a time-dependent propensity score based on age, CD4+ count and liver cirrhosis status. Kinetics of HBeAg quantification (qHBeAg) and hepatitis B surface antigen quantification (qHBsAg) were estimated using mixed-effect linear regression and time to HBeAg seroclearance or HBsAg seroclearance was modelled using proportional hazards regression. At baseline, previous TDF exposure was a median 39.8 months (IQR=21.4-59.4) and median qHBeAg and qHBsAg levels were 6.9 PEIU/mL and 3.72 log10 IU/mL, respectively (P>.5 between groups). Median follow-up was 33.4 months (IQR=19.0-36.3). During intensification, faster average declines of qHBeAg (-0.066 vs -0.027 PEIU/mL/month, P=.001) and qHBsAg (-0.049 vs -0.026 log10 IU/mL/month, P=.09) were observed in patients undergoing TDF+PegIFN vs TDF, respectively. After intensification, qHBeAg and qHBsAg decline was no different between groups (P=.7 and P=.9, respectively). Overall, no differences were observed in HBeAg seroclearance (TDF+PegIFN=13.2 vs TDF=12.6/100 person·years, P=.5) or HBsAg seroclearance rates (TDF+PegIFN=1.8 vs TDF=1.3/100 person·years, P=.7). In conclusion, PegIFN intensification in HBeAg-positive co-infected patients did not lead to increased rates of HBeAg or HBsAg clearance, despite faster declines of antigen levels while on PegIFN.