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Serum Hepatitis B Viral DNA in Acute Viral Hepatitis B

Tse-Ling Fong, MD; Evangelos A. Akriviadis, MD; Sugantha Govindarajan, MD; Boontar Valinluck, MS; and Allan G. Redeker, MD
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Requests for Reprints: Tse-Ling Fong, MD, USC Liver Unit, Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center, 7601 E. Imperial Highway, Downey, CA 90242.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Fong, Akriviadis, and Redeker: USC Liver Unit, Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center, 7601 E. Imperial Highway, Downey, CA 90242.

Dr. Govindarajan and Mr. Valinluck: Department of Pathology, USC Liver Unit, Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center, 7705 Golondrinas, 1200 Building, Downey, CA 90242.

Ann Intern Med. 1989;110(11):936-937. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-110-11-936
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There is no way to identify which patients with acute hepatitis B infection will recover and which will become chronic carriers. Several studies (1-3) noted absence of serum hepatitis B viral DNA (HBV-DNA) in most patients with acute hepatitis B during the period of clinical symptoms. However HBV-DNA was consistently detectable in patients who became chronic carriers. Serum HBV-DNA was undetectable in acute fulminant hepatitis B, wherein survivors invariably clear hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) (4). Our retrospective study compared the course of serum HBV-DNA in patients with acute hepatitis B virus infection who cleared HBsAg within 6 months and


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