Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology
Liver - Original Article

IL-21 Is Associated With Virological Relapse of HBeAg Positive Chronic Hepatitis B After Discontinuance of Entecavir

1.

Liver Disease Department, The Wuxi Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China

2.

Infectious Disease Department, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University. Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China

3.

Infectious Disease Department, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University. Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China

Turk J Gastroenterol 2021; 32: 178-186
DOI: 10.5152/tjg.2021.19703
Read: 38 Downloads: 15 Published: 30 April 2021

Background: To investigate the association between interleukin-21 (IL-21) expression level and virological relapse (VR) of HBeAg positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) after discontinuance of entecavir (ETV).

Methods: The serum IL-21 level of 112 CHB patients was measured at 0, 12, 24, 52, and 104 weeks after ETV discontinuance. ELISA was used for the measurement of serum IL-21 level. VR was defined as two continuous examinations with an interval of 1 month with both showing HBV DNA >10 000 copies/mL after drug discontinuance.

Results: The serum IL-21 levels at 0, 12, 24, 52, and 104 weeks after discontinuance of ETV were significantly higher in the durable virological remission (DVR) group than in the VR group (all P < .01). The area under the ROC curve (AUC) was 0.728 (95% CI: 0.630-0.827, P < .001), while the best cut-off value was 49.8 pg/mL. Multivariate Cox model showed that the factors affecting the relapse included age, followed by HBsAg level at the serological conversion of HBeAg and serum IL-21 level (all P < .05).

Conclusion: Serum IL-21 level at ETV discontinuance is an independent risk factor for CHB relapse. IL-21 acts as an immunomodulatory factor in maintaining DVR in HBeAg positive CHB patients after ETV discontinuance.

Cite this article as: Huang LH, Zhou L, Gan JH, et al. IL-21 is associated with virological relapse of HBeAg positive chronic hepatitis B after discontinuance of entecavir. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2021; 32(2): 178-186.

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