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Clinical Distribution Characteristics and Identification for Significant Liver Inflammation of Patients in Chronic Hepatitis B with Indeterminate Phase.

AIM: In clinical practice, a considerable proportion of patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) who do not conform to any immune status are considered to be in the "indeterminate phase". In this study, we aim to study the clinical distribution characteristics and identification of significant liver inflammation in patients in indeterminate phase.

METHODS: This study retrospectively analyze clinical data of 1226 patients with CHB at two medical centers in Zhejiang province. According to American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) 2018 hepatitis B guidance, CHB can be divided into four phases: immune-tolerant phase, HBeAg-positive immune active phase, inactive phase, and HBeAg-negative immune active phase. Liver inflammation grade was evaluated using the Scheuer scoring system, and significant liver inflammation was defined as G ≥ 2.

RESULTS: The distribution of different immune status was as follows: 259 (21.1%) patients in immune-tolerant phase, 365 (29.8%) patients in HBeAg-positive immune active phase, 128 (10.4%) patients in inactive phase, and 33 (2.7%) patients in HBeAg-negative immune active phase. However, 441 (36.0%) patients did not meet any of the above immune phases, which were defined as indeterminate phase. Significant liver inflammation (54.1%) was common in CHB patients with indeterminate phase. Prothrombin time (PT), platelet count (PLT), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and hepatitis B virus (HBV)-DNA were associated with significant inflammation.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study showed that about 36.0% of patients were divided into indeterminate phase. The proportion of patients with significant inflammation in indeterminate phase and liver inflammation becomes more severe with aggravation of fibrosis stage. PT, PLT, ALT, and HBV-DNA may have a significant correlation with severe inflammation and prognosis of CHB.

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