The AASLD Guidelines state that treatment is indicated in prolonged hepatitis (>4 weeks of prolonged INR and hyperbilirubinemia). It is important to commence antiviral therapy using NAs as soon as fulminant hepatitis B is suspected, whether it is a rapidly progressive
acute infection or acute exacerbation of the carrier state. Even after commencement of NA therapy once fulminant hepatitis has been diagnosed, it takes some time for the antiviral effect to appear, and improved outcomes are not always achieved, so antiviral therapy should be commenced before the onset of fulminant hepatic failure. The treatment of fulminant hepatitis is not directed solely at the etiological cause, but is a multidisciplinary treatment encompassing protective therapy, artificial liver support, Target Selective Inhibitor Library general care, and prevention of complications. Outcomes are generally poor for medical treatment of fulminant hepatitis B, so liver transplantation should be considered as soon as possible. A randomized controlled clinical trial of lamivudine in the treatment of severe hepatitis B (bilirubin ≥10 mg/dL, PT-INR 1.4–1.6) found that early administration of lamivudine significantly reduced the incidence of hepatic failure and mortality. A retrospective study of lamivudine therapy for fulminant or severe hepatitis B with
PT-INR ≥2.0 found that 82.4% (14/17) of patients in the treated group survived and cleared HBsAg within 6 months, whereas the survival rate in the historical control group not administered lamivudine was only 20% (4/20), with a significant difference seen between groups see more (P < 0.001). Other studies have demonstrated the efficacy of lamivudine in the treatment of fulminant hepatitis B, with no reports of problems with safety, such as adverse reactions.[298, 299] Although there are no clear guidelines for when to stop NA therapy, negative conversion of HBsAg is usually the indicator for treatment cessation. Administration of NAs is the mainstay of treatment of acute exacerbation of the
carrier state. The viral load is already high at the time of onset of fulminant hepatitis, by which stage a therapeutic response to NAs is unlikely, necessitating commencement of NA pheromone therapy before the onset of severe or fulminant hepatitis B. Although subject numbers were low, the “Prospective study of the efficacy of lamivudine” in patients with acute exacerbation of the carrier state, conducted by an MHLW study group, found that 71% (5/7) patients administered lamivudine when a prothrombin time declined to ≤40% died, but all patients administered lamivudine when a prothrombin time was ≥60% survived. They therefore recommended that lamivudine should be administered to patients with acute exacerbation of the carrier state without delay, before the prothrombin time goes below 60%.