Semin Liver Dis 2021; 41(02): 182-190
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1723088
Review Article

Hepatitis B Core-Related Antigen: From Virology to Clinical Application

Hye Won Lee
1  Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2  Institute of Gastroenterology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
3  Yonsei Liver Center, Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea
,
Sang Hoon Ahn
1  Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2  Institute of Gastroenterology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
3  Yonsei Liver Center, Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea
,
Henry Lik-Yuen Chan
4  Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
5  Institute of Digestive Disease, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
› Author Affiliations

Abstract

Hepatitis B core-related antigen (HBcrAg) is a composite measure of the serum levels of hepatitis B e antigen, hepatitis B core antigen, and a 22-kDa precore protein. It has been shown to reflect the level and transcriptional activity of covalently closed circular DNA in the liver. Longitudinal cohort studies have improved our understanding of the role of this novel viral marker in the natural history of chronic hepatitis B. HBcrAg kinetics reflect the response to peginterferon, and its role in defining guidelines for stopping peginterferon therapy has been evaluated. HBcrAg is a marker of intrahepatic viral activity, which may influence the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. In this article, we review the virology and role of HBcrAg in defining phases of chronic hepatitis B. Furthermore, the function of HBcrAg in predicting treatment outcomes and its role in monitoring response to novel antiviral agents will be discussed.



Publication History

Publication Date:
06 May 2021 (online)

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