Journal List > Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr > v.6(2) > 1110370

Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2003 Sep;6(2):140-151. Korean.
Published online Sep 30, 2003.
Copyright © 2003 The Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Long Term Follow Up of Interferon-alpha Treatment in Children with Chronic Hepatitis B
Seoung Yon Baek, Ji Hyun Eom and Ki Sup Chung
Department of Pediatrics, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


We tried to evaluate the long term efficacy and positive predictive factors of interferon-alpha treatment in children with chronic hepatitis B.


The study population included 113 children who received interferon therapy between May 1982 and July 2002 (20 years) for chronic hepatitis B in Department of Pediatrics, Yonsei University College of Medicine. Male to female ratio was 2.3:1 and the mean age at diagnosis was 11.1±4.1 years old. Response to treatment was defined as normalization of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), disappearance of HBeAg and HBV-DNA Eighty two children responded while 32 did not. Interferon-alpha was given intramuscularly for 6 months at a dosage of 3x106 unit, 3 times weekly. In relapsed cases, lamivudine or interferon retreatment was done.


Seroconversion rate was 77.0% in terms of HBeAg, 74.3% in terms of HBV-DNA, and 80.5% in terms of ALT normalization after treatment. Seroconversion rate of both HBeAg and HBV-DNA was 72.6%. Analyzed by life table method, the effect of the treatment had been maintained over 10 years after cessation of therapy. Pre-treatment ALT level was the only significant positive predictive factor of response. Eleven cases (13.4%) relapsed, and 2 out of 3 showed response when treated with lamivudine and 1 out of 3 with interferon retreatment.


Interferon-alpha showed significant efficacy in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B in our study. Further studies about the effect of interferon therapy on complications of hepatitis such as hepatocarcinoma, cirrhosis are warranted.

Keywords: Children; Chronic hepatitis B; Interferon-alpha; Predictive factor; Lamivudine