High incidence of hepatitis B core antibody positivity in metabolic-associated fatty liver disease-related cirrhosis

ERGENÇ İ., GÖKÇEN P., ADALI G., Kani H. T., Demirtaş C. Ö., Gündüz F., ...More

Hepatology Forum, vol.1, no.2, pp.20-25, 2021 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.14744/hf.2020.2020.0025
  • Journal Name: Hepatology Forum
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Other Indexes
  • Page Numbers: pp.20-25
  • Keywords: Anti-HBc, hepatitis B core antibody, MAFLD, HEPATOCELLULAR-CARCINOMA, INFECTION, HBSAG
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: No


Background and Aim: The coexistence of metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) in the course of chronic hepatitis B virus infection increases liver-related morbidity. A positive correlation was found between positive hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) and the risk of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in MAFLD. The relationship between anti-HBc positivity and MAFLD progression to fibrosis, cirrhosis, and liver-related outcomes was determined. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study including 242 patients with biopsy-proven MAFLD, 130 patients with clinically diagnosed MAFLD-related cirrhosis, and 62 patients with MAFLD-related or cryptogenic HCC. Anti-HBc antibody results were compared with clinical outcomes. Results: Anti-HBc positivity was associated with fibrosis severity (p=0.005). Anti-HBc was positive in 19 (20.2%), 33 (25.8%), 53 (35.3%), and 27 (43.5%) patients with F0–F1 fibrosis, F2–F3 fibrosis, cirrhosis (F4), and HCC, respectively. Median steatosis score was grade 3 in anti-HBc positive patients and grade 2 in negative patients (p=0.07). Anti-HBc positivity was not associated with significant fibrosis (≥F2), cirrhosis, and any liver related complications including HCC. Conclusion: Higher anti-HBc positivity was found in MAFLD patients with advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis compared to patients with early stage fibrosis. No relation was found between anti-HBc positivity and development of cirrhosis, HCC or other liver related complications.