Copyright ©The Author(s) 2024. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. May 7, 2024; 30(17): 2294-2297
Published online May 7, 2024. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v30.i17.2294
Expanding indications for chronic hepatitis B treatment: Is it really desirable to treat everyone?
Fabiola Di Dato, Raffaele Iorio
Fabiola Di Dato, Raffaele Iorio, Department of Translational Medical Science, Section of Pediatrics, University of Naples Federico II, Naples 80131, Italy
Author contributions: Di Dato F and Iorio R wrote the first draft and reviewed and finalized the editorial.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All the authors report no relevant conflicts of interest for this article.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: Https://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Raffaele Iorio, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Translational Medical Science, Section of Pediatrics, University of Naples Federico II, Via Pansini 5, Naples 80131, Italy. riorio@unina.it
Received: February 6, 2024
Revised: March 8, 2024
Accepted: April 15, 2024
Published online: May 7, 2024

Chronic viral hepatitis causes an increased risk of progressive liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. On the wave of the World Health Organization’s goal to reduce new cases and deaths from hepatitis B and C by 2030, there is an increasing call to expand the indications for treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Currently, the main goal of treatment is to achieve a functional cure due to the inability of current drugs to completely eradicate the virus. There are still many discrepancies between available guidelines in terms of eligibility for treatment as well as an uncertainty about the appropriate treatment duration. This editorial addresses key questions about the topic and whether indications for treatment should be expanded.

Keywords: Hepatitis B virus, Interferon, Nucleos(t)ide analogues, Functional cure, Children

Core Tip: There is a growing trend to expand the indications for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Starting from the concept that current therapies for chronic hepatitis B are unable to completely eradicate hepatitis B virus infection, this editorial critically analyzes the long-term efficacy of the available therapies and the rationale for an extension of current indications.