Background: The prognosis of advanced cirrhosis due to chronic hepatitis B is poor, and results of therapies, including liver transplantation, have been unsatisfactory. Little is known about the effectiveness of interferon alfa in patients with cirrhosis. Methods: Between 1984 and 1991, 18 patients with clinically-apparent cirrhosis due to hepatitis B were treated with interferon alfa at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health. Results: Six treated patients (33%) had a sustained loss of hepatitis B virus DNA and hepatitis B e antigen (if present initially) and decrease of aminotransferase levels into the normal or near normal range. In follow-up, these 6 patients resolved all symptoms of cirrhosis and are alive and fully active. In contrast, the 12 patients who did not have a sustained loss of hepatitis B virus have had evidence of progressive liver disease, 6 have died and 4 underwent hepatic transplantation. Side effects of interferon were common and included bacterial infections (n = 5) and exacerbations of disease (n = 9). Conclusions: These findings indicate that interferon alfa is effective in selected patients with mildly decompensated cirrhosis due to hepatitis B. © 1993.
Hoofnagle, J. H., Di Bisceglie, A. M., Waggoner, J. G., & Park, Y. (1993). Interferon alfa for patients with clinically apparent cirrhosis due to chronic hepatitis B. Gastroenterology, 104(4), 1116–1121. https://doi.org/10.1016/0016-5085(93)90281-G