The stages of chronic hepatitis B infection has been given a makeover. Is it time for Hep B Bear to move aside?
The latest clinical practice guidelines for hepatitis B published by the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) not only set out recommended treatment protocols but also re-framed and re-named the phases of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
For a start, it was made clear that the phases are not necessarily sequential and there are five phases, not four as often presented.
Rather than describing the natural history of chronic hepatitis B infection through the lens of immune response, the new naming system re-frames it in terms of the liver health and the presence or absence of the hepatitis B e antigen, clearly differentiating chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and chronic hepatitis B (CHB).