Of the estimated 50 million new cases of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection diagnosed annually, 5-10% of adults and up to 90% of infants will become chronically infected, 75% of these in Asia where hepatitis B is the leading cause of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In Indonesia, 4.6% of the population was positive for HBsAg in 1994 and of these, 21% were positive for HBeAg and 73% for anti-HBe; 44% and 45% of Indonesian patients with cirrhosis and HCC, respectively, were HBsAg positive. In the Philippines, there appear to be two types of age-specific HBsAg prevalence, suggesting different modes of transmission. In Thailand, 8-10% of males and 6-8% of females are HBsAg positive, with HBsAg also found in 30% of patients with cirrhosis and 50-75% of those with HCC. In Taiwan, 75-80% of patients with chronic liver disease are HBsAg positive, and HBsAg is found in 34% and 72% of patients with cirrhosis and HCC, respectively. In China, 73% of patients with chronic hepatitis and 78% and 71% of those with cirrhosis and HCC, respectively, are HBsAg positive. In Singapore, the prevalence of HBsAg has dropped since the introduction of HBV vaccination and the HBsAg seroprevalence of unvaccinated individuals over 5 years of age is 4.5%. In Malaysia, 5.24% of healthy volunteers, with a mean age of 34 years, were positive for HBsAg in 1997. In the highly endemic countries in Asia, the majority of infections are contracted postnatally or perinatally. Three phases of chronic HBV infection are recognized: phase 1 patients are HBeAg positive with high levels of virus in the serum and minimal hepatic inflammation; phase 2 patients have intermittent or continuous hepatitis of varying degrees of severity; phase 3 is the inactive phase during which viral concentrations are low and there is minimal inflammatory activity in the liver. In general, patients who clear HBeAg have a better prognosis than patients who remain HBeAg-positive for prolonged periods of time. The outcome after anti-HBe seroconversion depends on the degree of pre-existing liver damage and any subsequent HBV reactivation. Without pre-existing cirrhosis, there may be only slight fibrosis or mild chronic hepatitis, but with pre-existing cirrhosis, further complications may ensue. HBsAg-negative chronic hepatitis B is a phase of chronic HBV infection during which a mutation arises resulting in the inability of the virus to produce HBeAg. Such patients tend to have more severe liver disease and run a more rapidly progressive course. The annual probability of developing cirrhosis varies from 0.1 to 1.0% depending on the duration of HBV replication, the severity of disease and the presence of concomitant infections or drugs. The annual incidence of hepatic decompensation in HBV-related cirrhosis varies from 2 to 10% and in these patients the 5-year survival rate drops dramatically to 14-35%. The annual risk of developing HCC in patients with cirrhosis varies between 1 and 6%; the overall reported annual detection rate of HCC in surveillance studies, which included individuals with chronic hepatitis B and cirrhosis, is 0.8-4.1%. Chronic hepatitis B is not a static disease and the natural history of the disease is affected by both viral and host factors. The prognosis is poor with decompensated cirrhosis and effective treatment options are limited. Prevention of HBV infection thorough vaccination is still, therefore, the best strategy for decreasing the incidence of hepatitis B-associated cirrhosis and HCC.
Worldwide, some 240 million people have chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV), with the highest rates of infection in Africa and Asia. Our understanding of the natural history of HBV infection and the potential for therapy of the resultant disease is continuously improving. New data have become available since the previous APASL guidelines for management of HBV infection were published in 2012. The objective of this manuscript is to update the recommendations for the optimal management of chronic HBV infection. The 2015 guidelines were developed by a panel of Asian experts chosen by the APASL. The clinical practice guidelines are based on evidence from existing publications or, if evidence was unavailable, on the experts' personal experience and opinion after deliberations. Manuscripts and abstracts of important meetings published through January 2015 have been evaluated. This guideline covers the full spectrum of care of patients infected with hepatitis B, including new terminology, natural history, screening, vaccination, counseling, diagnosis, assessment of the stage of liver disease, the indications, timing, choice and duration of single or combination of antiviral drugs, screening for HCC, management in special situations like childhood, pregnancy, coinfections, renal impairment and pre- and post-liver transplant, and policy guidelines. However, areas of uncertainty still exist, and clinicians, patients, and public health authorities must therefore continue to make choices on the basis of the evolving evidence. The final clinical practice guidelines and recommendations are presented here, along with the relevant background information.
Large volume of new data on the natural history and treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection have become available since 2008. These include further studies in asymptomatic subjects with chronic HBV infection and community-based cohorts, the role of HBV genotype/naturally occurring HBV mutations, the application of non-invasive assessment of hepatic fibrosis and quantitation of HBV surface antigen and new drug or new strategies towards more effective therapy. To update HBV management guidelines, relevant new data were reviewed and assessed by experts from the region, and the significance of the reported findings was discussed and debated. The earlier "Asian-Pacific consensus statement on the management of chronic hepatitis B" was revised accordingly. The key terms used in the statement were also defined. The new guidelines include general management, indications for fibrosis assessment, time to start or stop drug therapy, choice of drug to initiate therapy, when and how to monitor the patients during and after stopping drug therapy. Recommendations on the therapy of patients in special circumstances, including women in childbearing age, patients with antiviral drug resistance, concurrent viral infection, hepatic decompensation, patients receiving immune suppression or chemotherapy and patients in the setting of liver transplantation and hepatocellular carcinoma, are also included.
Due to the introduction of newer, more efficacious treatment options, there is a pressing need for policy makers and public health officials to develop or adapt national hepatitis C virus (HCV) control strategies to the changing epidemiological landscape. To do so, detailed, country-specific data are needed to characterize the burden of chronic HCV infection. In this study of 17 countries, a literature review of published and unpublished data on HCV prevalence, viraemia, genotype, age and gender distribution, liver transplants and diagnosis and treatment rates was conducted, and inputs were validated by expert consensus in each country. Viraemic prevalence in this study ranged from 0.2% in Hong Kong to 2.4% in Taiwan, while the largest viraemic populations were in Nigeria (2 597 000 cases) and Taiwan (569 000 cases). Diagnosis, treatment and liver transplant rates varied widely across the countries included in this analysis, as did the availability of reliable data. Addressing data gaps will be critical for the development of future strategies to manage and minimize the disease burden of hepatitis C.
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic was forecasted through 2030 for 17 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, and interventions for achieving the Global Health Sector Strategy on viral hepatitis targets-"WHO Targets" (65% reduction in HCV-related deaths, 90% reduction in new infections and 90% of infections diagnosed by 2030) were considered. Scaling up treatment and diagnosis rates over time would be required to achieve these targets in all but one country, even with the introduction of high SVR therapies. The scenarios developed to achieve the WHO Targets in all countries studied assumed the implementation of national policies to prevent new infections and to diagnose current infections through screening.
Factors influencing the morbidity and mortality associated with viremic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection change over time and place, making it difficult to compare reported estimates. Models were developed for 17 countries (Bahrain, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Qatar and Taiwan) to quantify and characterize the viremic population as well as forecast the changes in the infected population and the corresponding disease burden from 2015 to 2030. Model inputs were agreed upon through expert consensus, and a standardized methodology was followed to allow for comparison across countries. The viremic prevalence is expected to remain constant or decline in all but four countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan and Oman); however, HCV-related morbidity and mortality will increase in all countries except Qatar and Taiwan. In Qatar, the high-treatment rate will contribute to a reduction in total cases and HCV-related morbidity by 2030. In the remaining countries, however, the current treatment paradigm will be insufficient to achieve large reductions in HCV-related morbidity and mortality.