Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Belgium: preliminary results of the Belgian Association for the study of the liver (BASL) Registry of HBSAG chronic carriers.

P. Deltenre, Hendrik Reynaert, J Henrion

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract (Journal)


Introduction: The epidemiology of HBV infection has changed
during past decades in the Western Europe but few data are
available at a national level. Aim: to assess the epidemiologic
characteristics of HBV infection in Belgium. Patients and methods:
Belgian members of the BASL were asked to report all
HBsAg-positive patients (pts) between March 01, 2008 and
February 28, 2009. Results: 26 centres participated, including
1345 pts. The repartition between prevalent and incidental
cases was 69% and 31%, respectively. Male/female ratio was
2/1. Median age was 40 years (95%CI: 39-42). 51% of the
pts were Caucasians, 26% black Africans, 12% Asians and
11% of Maghreb origin. Risk factors for HBV infection were:
transfusion (13%), intravenous drug use (9%), surgery (6%),
sexual behaviour (38%), and familial transmission (34%). Only
21% of the pts were HBeAg-positive. Co-infection was
observed in 86 pts (12% of tested pts): 25 (3.6%) with HDV, 26
(3.8%) with HCV, 29 (4.2%) with HIV, 2 (0.3%) with HDV-HCV
and 4 (0.6%) with HCV-HIV. Liver biopsy was performed in
531 pts. Fibrosis repartition was: 16% F0, 24% F1, 24% F2,
19% F3 and 17% F4. Treatment was proposed to 527 pts.
According to the restrictive Belgian legislation, 74% received
lamivudine, 28% adefovir, 19% interferon, 17% Peg-interferon
and 8% entecavir. According to viral load (VL) and ALT values,
477 pts were inactive carriers (group 1). 225 pts had HBeAgpositive
hepatitis (group 2) and 367 HBeAg-negative hepatitis
(group 3). 276 pts could not be classified. Compared to groups
2 and 3, group 1 pts had the same age (40 vs 42 years, NS),
were less frequently HBeAg-positive (0 vs 38%, pwere more frequently HBeAb-positive (99 vs 63%, phad a lower median VL (2 vs 3.696 log IU/ml, phad less frequently ALT >2N (0 vs 22%, pless frequently treatment (7 vs 77%, pperformed in 71 pts in group 1. F3-4 was observed
in 25 pts. Compared to group 3, group 2 pts were younger (39
vs 44 years, p=0.002), were less frequently HBeAb-positive (5
vs 98%, plog IU/ml, p2N (28 vs
18%, pvs 74%, p=0.02). Liver biopsy was performed in 410 pts in
groups 2 and 3. Frequency of F3-4 was similar (31 vs 39%,
NS). Conclusion: In Belgium, nearly half of HBsAg-positive pts
are inactive carriers and one third has HBeAg-negative chronic
hepatitis. F3-4 is reported in 36% of HBsAg-positive pts who
had a liver biopsy. Pts with HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis are
younger and have higher VL and ALT values than HBeAg-negative
Original languageEnglish
Article number493
Pages (from-to)540A
Number of pages1
Issue numberS4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventAmerican Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) 60th Annual Meeting: The Liver Meeting 2009 - Boston, United States
Duration: 30 Oct 20093 Nov 2009


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