Treatment of chronic type B hepatitis with multiple ten-day courses of adenine arabinoside monophosphate

Hoofnagle, J.H.; Davis, G.L.; Hanson, R.G.; Pappas, S.C.; Peters, M.G.; Avigan, M.I.; Waggoner, J.G.; Howard, R.; Jones, E.A.; Straus, S.E.

Journal of Medical Virology 15(2): 121-128


ISSN/ISBN: 0146-6615
PMID: 2579192
DOI: 10.1002/jmv.1890150204
Accession: 041852067

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Ten patients with chronic type B hepatitis were treated with three courses of adenine arabinoside monosphosphate (Ara-AMP). The drug was given intramuscularly at a dosage of 10 mg/kg/day in ten-day courses during each of three sequential months. The patients were all men, aged 31-61 years, who were known to have had chronic hepatitis for one to four years. Each of the ten-day courses of Ara-AMP was accompanied by a marked inhibition in the serum levels of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA and DNA polymerase activity. However, HBV-DNA remained detectable in every patient during treatment and invariably rebounded to pretreatment levels soon after each course was stopped. One patient developed severe, and two patients developed mild neuromuscular side effects. During a 12-18-month follow-up period, only one of the ten patients has had a sustained clinical, serum biochemical, and serological remission. In this patient, serum HBeAg, HBV-DNA, and DNA polymerase became undetectable three months after the final course of treatment; serum aminotransferase levels subsequently fell into the normal range; and a follow-up liver biopsy showed a diminution in the chronic inflammatory cell activity and a disappearance of intrahepatic hepatitis B core antigen reactivity. Thus, multiple ten-day courses of Ara-AMP do not induce a high rate of remissions in this disease and are associated with appreciable neuromuscular toxicity. Ara-AMP is a potent inhibitor of serum levels of hepatitis B virus, but Ara-AMP therapy has not been shown to have long-term beneficial effects in chronic type B hepatitis.

Treatment of chronic type B hepatitis with multiple ten-day courses of adenine arabinoside monophosphate