JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Analysis on the clinical features of 507 HDV-infected patients.

The objective of this study was to analyze the clinical feature of hepatitis delta virus (HDV)-infected patients and to discuss the pathological mechanism of hepatitis D. A total of 507 patients with hepatitis due to the infection of HDV were included. The incidence rates of various hepatitis subtypes, the sequelae, the clinical manifestation, the hepatic function, and the hepatic virus makers for all the 507 patients were analyzed statistically. A cohort of 213 patients with hepatitis B, who were also HDV free, served as the control. HDV infection significantly contributed to the increased incidence rate and mortality of severe hepatitis (SH) and cirrhosis (P < 0.01). HDV was also associated with higher incidence rates of hemorrhage in the gastrointestinal tract, abdominal ascites and hepatic encephalopathy, repetitive augmentation of alanine transaminase, and its enhanced magnitude (P < 0.01 or 0.05). The major liver function changes in patients with SH or chronic serious hepatitis was significant compared to the control (P < 0.01). Within the HDV(+) category, HBeAg(-) expression was significantly higher in the HBV DNA(-) group than the HBV DNA(+) group (P < 0.01). The expression of HDAg(+) HBeAg(-) in acute hepatitis, SH, and cirrhosis was significantly higher than that of HDAg(+) HBeAg(+) (P < 0.01 or P < 0.05). The HDV infection was closely associated with the development and prognosis of chronic serious hepatitis, SH, and cirrhosis. HDV infection could inhibit the HBV DNA replication or the HBcAg expression. The direct cytotoxicity of HDV might be the leading pathological factor in AH. HDV might play a major role in the deterioration and chronicization of HDV-co-infected hepatitis B and was responsible for the increased mortality of HBV/HDV patients.

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