OBJECTIVE: The efficacy and safety of entecavir in patients with chronic hepatitis B and advanced liver fibrosis/cirrhosis was assessed from three large, randomized, multicenter, phase III studies. PATIENTS AND METHODS: These studies enrolled patients (≥16 yr) with chronic hepatitis B, elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, and compensated liver disease. Two trials enrolled nucleos(t)ide-naive patients randomized to at least 48 wk of treatment with entecavir 0.5 mg/day or lamivudine 100 mg/day. The third trial randomized lamivudine-refractory patients to 48 wk of entecavir 1 mg/day or lamivudine 100 mg/day. In this post hoc descriptive analysis, the efficacy and safety in patients with advanced liver fibrosis/cirrhosis (Ishak fibrosis stages 4-6) were examined for consistency with those seen in the overall study populations. RESULTS: Of the 1,633 treated patients, 245 had advanced liver fibrosis/cirrhosis (120 entecavir and 125 lamivudine). Among entecavir-treated patients with advanced liver fibrosis, improvement in Ishak fibrosis was observed in 57% of nucleos(t)ide-naive hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive patients, 59% of nucleos(t)ide-naive HBeAg-negative patients, and 43% of lamivudine-refractory HBeAg-positive patients versus 49%, 53%, and 33% of lamivudine-treated patients with advanced liver fibrosis. The overall trends in other histologic, virologic, biochemical, and serologic outcomes in entecavir- versus lamivudine-treated patients with advanced liver fibrosis/cirrhosis were consistent with those observed in the overall study populations in each trial. The treatment was well tolerated. CONCLUSION: These data confirm that the performance of entecavir relative to that of lamivudine in patients with advanced liver fibrosis/cirrhosis was consistent with the relationship observed in the overall treated population. © 2008 by Am. Coll. of Gastroenterology.
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