Peginterferon and Chinese herbs exert a combinatorial effect in HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B
Introduction: Traditional Chinese herbs are widely used for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) in China. The aim of this study was to perform a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing peginterferon therapies with peginterferon plus Chinese herbal therapies in hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive CHB patients.
Methodology: The main biomedical databases were searched to identify RCTs that compared the efficiency of peginterferon with peginterferon plus Chinese herbs in CHB patients.
Results: The literature search yielded 616 studies, and 8 RCTs (624 patients) matched the selection criteria. Combined therapies of peginterferon plus Chinese herbal therapies were superior to peginterferon therapies alone in achieving the serum HBV DNA clearance rate (64.5% vs. 45.0%), serum HBeAg clearance rate (47.4% vs. 33.5%), and HBeAg seroconversion rates (39.2% vs. 23.1%) at the end of treatment. Combined therapies were more effective than peginterferon alone therapies in the improvement of liver fibrosis related biomarkers, including hyaluronic acid, procollagen type III, type IV collagen, and lamina. Combined therapies also resulted in fewer relapses, fewer adverse events, and more rapid alanine transaminase normalization.Conclusions: The current evidence suggests that peginterferon plus Chinese herbal therapies were associated with higher virological response than peginterferon alone in HBeAg-positive CHB patients.
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