Papers And Originals

Chronic Liver Disease and Hepatitis-B Antigen: A Prospective Study

Br Med J 1974; 3 doi: (Published 17 August 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;3:444
  1. L. Van Waes,
  2. J. Segers,
  3. J. Van Egmond,
  4. L. Van Nimmen,
  5. F. Barbier,
  6. R. Wieme,
  7. L. Demeulenaere


    A long-term follow-up of 45 patients with chronic hepatitis and 41 with cirrhosis is reported. Hepatitis-B antigen (HBAg) was present in 19 (42%) of the chronic hepatitis patients and in 20 (49%) of those with cirrhosis. The clinical course and biochemical and histological findings in the HBAg-positive and the HBAg-negative cases were similar, suggesting that HBAg-positive chronic liver disease is not a distinct clinical entity. The presence of antigen and autoantibodies was not found to be mutually exclusive. In HBAg-positive cases antigen tended to persist for months and years. When no irreversible lesions exist disappearance of the antigen may be a sign that the liver disease will resolve.