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Hepatitis reactivation in patients with rheumatic diseases after immunosuppressive therapy--a report of long-term follow-up of serial cases and literature review



Hepatitis reactivation in patients with rheumatic diseases after immunosuppressive therapy--a report of long-term follow-up of serial cases and literature review



Clinical Rheumatology 33(4): 577-586



The aims of this paper are to report hepatitis B virus reactivation in 12 patients with rheumatic disease undergoing immunosuppressive therapy and to evaluate whether pre-emptive antiviral therapy is necessary in patients receiving disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. From January 2008 to March 2012, a total of 12 HBV-infected patients with rheumatic diseases were consecutively enrolled in the long-term follow-up. Liver function, HBV DNA, and serum aminotransferase level were tested during the follow-up. We also reviewed the published reports and summarized the clinical characteristics of HBV reactivation during immunosuppressive therapy in patients with rheumatic diseases. The medium duration of follow-up was 41 months (range 16-48). Patients were treated with prednisone, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or tumor necrosis factor-alpha-blocking agents (TNFBA). HBV reactivation was only documented in two patients treated with prednisone without pre-emptive antiviral therapy. One hundred patients from literature review were identified as having HBV reactivation; 20.8 % of the patients receiving prednisone experienced HBV reactivation compared to only 4.46 and 9.52 % of patients treated with DMARDs or TNFBA, respectively. This long-term follow-up of serial cases suggests that pre-emptive antiviral therapy should be administered in patients receiving prednisone therapy for rheumatic disease. In contrast, DMARDs and TNFBA are relatively safe to HBV-infected patients with rheumatic diseases. Close monitoring of HBV DNA and ALT levels is necessary in the management of HBV reactivation.

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Accession: 053518702

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 24343455

DOI: 10.1007/s10067-013-2450-9


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