Hepatitis E virus superinfection impairs long-term outcome in hospitalized patients with hepatitis B virus-related decompensated liver cirrhosis

Elsevier, Annals of Hepatology, Volume 28, 1 March 2023
Zhao H., Ye W., Yu X., Hu J., Zhang X., Yang M. et al.

Introduction and objectives: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) superinfection is a common excerbating event in patients with chronic hepatitis B, but the impact on the long-term prognosis is not clear. This study investigates the specific role of HEV superinfection in the long-term outcome of hepatitis B virus (HBV) patients with liver cirrhosis. Patients and methods: A retrospective, observational cohort study was conducted using clinical, laboratory, and survival data collected from patients suffering from hepatitis B cirrhosis with or without HEV superinfection. Disease progression and mortality rates were analyzed. Results: After a two-year follow-up, HEV superinfection was identified in 27 of 811 patients. The transplantation-free mortality was significantly increased (51.9% vs. 14.3%, p< 0.001) in HEV superinfection compared to that in hepatitis B cirrhosis patients without HEV superinfection. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that elderly people were independent host risk factors for hepatitis B cirrhosis patients with HEV superinfection before and after propensity score matching (PSM). Moreover, HEV superinfection was a risk factor for patients with hepatitis B cirrhosis with new acute decompensation (AD) and acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) during hospitalization. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression model demonstrated that acute HEV co-infection is associated with two-year mortality (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.49; 95% CI: 1.40–4.43; p= 0.002; and HR: 5.79; 95% CI: 1.87–17.87; p= 0.002) in patients with hepatitis B cirrhosis before and after PSM. Conclusions: Elder patients with hepatitis B cirrhosis are susceptible to HEV superinfection, accelerating disease progression and increasing long-term mortality in hospitalized patients with HBV-related decompensated liver cirrhosis.