Objective: During viral hepatitis B, serum HBsAg and HBeAg were important indexes reflecting viral replication and liver inflammation. However, patients with negative serum HBeAg still developed viremia or inflammatory necrosis. Negative HBsAg patients also had serum HBV DNA. This study thus analysed patients who were negative for HABsAg or HBeAg, to provide evidences for diagnosing chronic hepatitis with unknown reasons.
Patients and Methods: A total of 22 patients were collected to detect HBV marker using HBV specific test kit. Biopsy was performed by ultrasonic guidance, followed by hematoxylin-eosin staining. Fluorescent quantitative PCR measured the copy number of HBV DNA from hepatic tissues and peripheral blood samples.
Results: 3 out of 22 cases (13.6%) showed positive HBV DNA in peripheral blood, while the positive rate of hepatic HBV DNA was 86.4%. In serum model positive for anti-HBs or anti-HBs+anti-HBc, pathological examination revealed no significant abnormality. In serum models of anti-HBs+anti-HBc +anti-HBe, anti-HBc or anti-HBc+anti-HBe, partial infiltration of inflammatory cells could be observed. The activity of hepatic tissues was the highest in hepatic tissues positive for anti-HBc, accompanied with higher fibrosis. A further correlation analysis revealed positive relationship between replication number of hepatic HBV DNA copy number and activity/fibrosis of hepatic tissues (r=0.56 or 0.34, p<0.05 in both cases).
Conclusion: In serum models with anti-HBc, anti-HBc plus anti-HBe, the activity and fibrosis degree of hepatic tissues were relatively higher, and were correlated with HBV DNA copy numbers.