About 540,000 cases of hepatitis B infection have been identified in Hong Kong. Clinical practitioners have found that some chronic hepatitis B patients achieve hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) seroclearance, which means recovery from hepatitis B, with or without using antiviral medication. The Medical Data Analytics Centre (MDAC) of The Chinese University of Hong Kong analysed 12-year data of about 10,000 patients who had recovered from chronic hepatitis B and found that the risk of hepatic decompensation, or liver-related complications, for these patients decreased over time. The risk of hepatic decompensation among those without cirrhosis at the time of recovery was only 0.05% after seven years. However, the hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) risk persisted in the recovered patients. The research team recommends regular cancer surveillance in patients who have recovered from hepatitis B. The results have been published in the international medical journal The Journal of Hepatology1.
- Yip TC, Wong VW, Lai MS, Lai JC, Hui VW, Liang LY, Tse YK, Chan HL, Wong GL. Risk of hepatic decompensation but not hepatocellular carcinoma decreases over time in patients with hepatitis B surface antigen loss. J Hepatol. 2023 Mar;78(3):524-533.