Objective The efficacy of lamivudine for fulminant hepatitis B has been reported in Europe and West Asia. However, in these reports, the main infection genotype is D. Furthermore, if lamivudine improves survival, prognostic factors for fulminant hepatitis B may differ from those reported previously. The aim of this study was to clarify the prognostic factors and the efficacy of lamivudine for fulminant hepatitis B in Japan, where the main infection genotype is B.
Methods This study was a retrospective cohort study. We selected 37 consecutive patients with fulminant hepatitis due to acute hepatitis B virus infection. As 4 of them had received liver transplantation, the data of 33 patients with a median age of 45 (range, 20-74) years were analyzed.
Results Lamivudine was administered to 10 patients. There were no differences in clinical features at the time of the diagnosis of fulminant hepatitis B between patients treated with and without lamivudine. Survival rates of patients treated with and without lamivudine were 70% and 26%, respectively. Age (≥45 years), systemic inflammatory response syndrome, and non-administration of lamivudine were associated with fatal outcomes. The survival rates of patients treated with and without lamivudine, who were in a state of systemic inflammatory response syndrome, were 50% and 9%, and in patients aged ≥45 years, 50% and 8%, respectively.
Conclusion This study suggests the efficacy of lamivudine for fulminant hepatitis B in the area where the main infection genotype is B. We consider that lamivudine is worth administering to patients with fulminant hepatitis B.
2008 by The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine