The performance of hepatitis B surface antigen quantification as a noninvasive biomarker predicting liver injury and serum hepatitis B virus DNA level

Abdullayeva M., Çelik M., Kuruüzüm Z.



Objectives: Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is still a major public health problem worldwide. Recently, evidence indicating that serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) quantification can be used for monitorization of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection

has been increased. In this study, we evaluated HBsAg levels during the natural course of CHB and identified correlations between HBsAg, HBV DNA levels and liver histopathology.

Methods: From 6 August 2016 to 7 June 2017, naive patients, who are ≥18 years old, fulfilled the criteria for the diagnosis of CHB and had a liver biopsy within a year before or after admission, were included. HBsAg levels in serum samples were investigated by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Results were correlated with serum HBV DNA levels, histologic activity index (HAI) and fibrosis scores.

Results: In this study 66 patients were included. There was a moderate and significant correlation between HBsAg levels and fibrosis scores (r = 0.386, P = 0.001), but no correlation with HAI. Serum HBsAg levels showed a positive, strong and

significant (r = 0.740, P < 0.001) correlation with HBV DNA levels. In hepatitis B e antigen-negative patients, serum HBsAg levels were perfectly correlated with HBV DNA levels (r = 0.992, P < 0.001) and moderately correlated with fibrosis scores

(r = 0.360, P = 0.006).

Conclusion: We found a positive correlation between serum HBsAg levels and the severity of fibrosis scores and serum HBV DNA levels. These findings suggest that serum HBsAg quantification might be a useful noninvasive diagnostic test for the prediction of fibrosis severity and HBV DNA level.