Therapeutic effects of human leukocyte interferon on chronic active hepatitis B in children

Tetsuo Hashida, Tadashi Sawada, Noriko Esumi, Akihiko Kinugasa, Tomoichi Kusunoki, Tsunataro Kishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Seven children with chronic active hepatitis (CAH) and one child with persistently abnormal results of liver function tests due to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection were treated with human leukocyte interferon (Hu-α-IFN). Five of them were positive for eAg and two of the three who were measured for DNA polymerase (DNAP) activity in sera showed moderate elevations of its levels. Hu-α-IFN was injected intramuscularly daily or once weekly at doses of 0.05-1 x 106IU. The total dose per patient varied from 10.5-54 x 106IU. After administration of Hu-α-IFN, rapid loss of eAg was observed in two of the five eAg patients, and DNAP activity reverted to normal ranges in the two patients with moderate elevations of its levels. One of the patients who lost eAg has retained normal serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase and glutamic-pyruvic transaminase levels for more than 2 years after therapy with Hu-α-IFN. Serial hepatic biopsies were performed in only one patient. In the second biopsy, 3 months after therapy with Hu-α-IFN, infiltration of inflammatory cells in the portal region was improved compared with earlier findings. Immediate and/or prolonged adverse side effects were not observed during or after administration of Hu-a-IFN. For the present, we propose these six conditions for use of Hu-α-IFN in children with HBV infection. Children should: (a) be more than 1 year old; (b) have abnormal liver function for more than 6 months; (c) have a liver biopsy demonstrating CAH; (d) have moderate elevation of DNAP activity; (e) be eAg positive; and (f) be unresponsive to other treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic active hepatitis
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Interferon
  • Liver function tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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