In this study, we aimed to perform a comprehensive analysis of patients with acute hepatic flares observed during the course of chronic hepatitis B infection in order to provide early diagnosis, management, and best characterization of this unique group of hepatitis B patients.
The study was designed in a retrospective and prospective manner. Chronic hepatitis B patients with acute hepatic flares, admitted to the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology were enrolled in the study. Demographic, clinical, biochemical, and virological findings were recorded via pre-prepared forms.
 The study was conducted on 125 patients. The mean age was 34.08 ± 12.68 and the male to female ratio was determined as 2.28. Over 117 patients (93.6%) had at least one symptom. The most common symptoms and signs were fatigue (81.6%), anorexia (64%), jaundice (60%), and nausea (52%). Anti-HBc immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody was detected in 24 patients (19.2%) and serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was positive in 107 (85.6%) patients. The most common cause of exacerbations was spontaneous hepatic flares (80.8%).
According to the results of this single-center study, acute hepatic exacerbations are more common in young men. The disease usually presents with non-specific symptoms and jaundice is the most common finding. As a sign of intensive inflammation and hepatocellular injury, serum ferritin levels seem to be high. Serum HBV DNA and anti-HBc IgM positivity with elevated alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels are presenting features of acute hepatic exacerbations.

Copyright © 2021, Bestas et al.