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Persistence of Hepatitis B Virus DNA Demonstrated by Polymerase Chain Reaction in Serum and Liver after Loss of HBsAg Induced by Antiviral Therapy

Patrick Marcellin, MD; Michèle Martinot-Peignoux, BS; Marie-Anne Loriot, PhD; Emile Giostra, MD; Nathalie Boyer, MD; Valérie Thiers, BS; and Jean-Pierre Benhamou, MD
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Requests for Reprints: Dr. J.P. Benhamou, Service d'Hépatologie, Hôpital Beaujon, 92118 Clichy, France.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Marcellin, Loriot, Boyer, Benhamou, and Ms. Martinot-Peignoux: Service d'Hépatologie and Unité de Recherches de Physiopathologie Hépatique (INSERM), Hôpital Beaujon, Clichy, France.

Dr. Giostra: Clinique Médicale Universitaire, Hôpital Cantonal Universitaire, Geneva, Switzerland.

Ms. Thiers: Recombinaison et Expression génétique, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.

Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(3):227-228. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-112-3-227
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

The polymerase chain reaction is a method of amplification of nucleic acids (1) that allows the detection of a very small amount of hepatitis B virus DNA (HBV-DNA), not detected by usual slot-blot or dot-blot hybridization (2-4). The presence of HBV-DNA has been previously shown using the polymerase chain reaction in the serum of patients with chronic hepatitis in the absence of serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) (3, 4). We looked for HBV-DNA using the polymerase chain reaction in the serum, the mononuclear blood cells, and liver of two patients with chronic hepatitis B who seroconverted from HBsAg to


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