Evaluation of the in situ assay for HBV DNA: An observational real-world study in chronic hepatitis B

Chang Li, Wei Zhang, Bisheng Shi, Gang Chen, Ye Zheng, Yong An, Mimi Sun, Yanling Feng, Qinghua Shang, Xiaonan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalShort Survey/Scientific Reportpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


ABSTRACT: The visualization of intrahepatic hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA by in situ hybridization (ISH) has uncovered some interesting aspects of HBV life cycle at the single-cell level. In the current study, we intend to evaluate the reliability and robustness of this assay in the real-world clinical scenario and its relationship with currently available clinical biomarkers in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients.In this cross-sectional study, 94 CHB patients and 10 patients with non-HBV related liver diseases were enrolled. Liver biopsies and routine histopathology analysis were performed. Intrahepatic HBV DNA and viral antigens (HBsAg and HBcAg) were detected by ISH and immunohistochemistry (IHC), respectively. The basic biochemical and virological parameters such as alanine transaminase, serum HBV DNA, and serum HBsAg were measured.The HBV DNA-ISH assay showed 55.8% (53/94 cases) positive rate in CHB patients, no false positive was found in non-HBV related hepatitis. The IHC of HBsAg and HBcAg showed a positive rate of 94.7% (89/94 cases) and 19.5% (17/87 cases), respectively. Quantification of HBV DNA-ISH signal showed a significant correlation with serum HBV DNA (rs = 0.6223, P < .0001). In addition, the staining pattern of HBV DNA in situ in the context of collagen deposition informed the histopathological progression of chronic liver disease.The application of this ISH assay in evaluating intrahepatic viral replication in real-world CHB patients showed favorable performance. It can be a complementation to conventional liver histopathology examination and IHC detection of viral antigens. This methodology provides an intuitive assessment of virological and pathological state of CHB patients, and further supports clinical diagnosis and management.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere27220
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2021


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