3 years ago

Hepatitis B core-related antigen (HBcrAg): an emerging marker for chronic hepatitis B virus infection

L.-Y. Mak, C.-L. Lai, M.-F. Yuen, W.-K. Seto, K.-S. Cheung, D. K.-H. Wong
Background Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) cannot be completely eradicated due to the presence of covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) in the nuclei of infected hepatocytes. While quantification of intrahepatic cccDNA requires liver biopsies, serological markers can be non-invasive alternatives to reflect intrahepatic viral replicative activity. Recently, hepatitis B core-related antigen (HBcrAg) has been advocated as a novel serum marker for disease monitoring and prognostication of CHB. Aim To examine the virological aspect and clinical application of HBcrAg with respect to the natural history and treatment of CHB. Methods We reviewed all papers published in the PubMed journal list and abstracts from major international meetings that included the keyword “HBcrAg” or “hepatitis B core-related antigen” until March 2017. Selected studies were compared and summarised on the basis of existing theories, as well as the authors’ experience. Results HBcrAg exhibited good correlation with intrahepatic (ih) cccDNA, ih total hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA, serum HBV DNA and to a lesser extent HBV surface antigen (HBsAg). In situations where serum HBV DNA levels become undetectable or HBsAg loss is achieved, HBcrAg can still be detectable. This marker is helpful in differentiation of HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis from HBeAg-negative chronic infection, predicting spontaneous or treatment-induced HBeAg seroconversion, sustained response to nucleos(t)ide analogue (NA), risk of HBV reactivation in occult HBV infection under immunosuppressive therapies, and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development as well as post-operative HCC recurrence. Conclusions HBcrAg is a potential surrogate marker of cccDNA. It may soon become a useful marker for disease monitoring, predicting treatment response and disease outcome of chronic hepatitis B.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/apt.14376

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.