It has been observed that enlargement of perihepatic lymph nodes may be seen in patients with chronic hepatitis B, particularly during acute flares of CHB. We hypothesized that there may be a correlation between the nodal change patterns in CHB patients with acute flare and HBeAg status. Perihepatic lymph node sizes of 87 patients with acute flares of CHB were documented, with a median follow up of 43 months. Patients were separated into 3 groups, HBeAg-positive with HBe seroconversion (group 1), HBeAg-positive without HBe seroconversion (group 2), and HBeAg-negative (group 3). Group 1 has the highest incidence of enlarged lymph nodes (92.3%) compared with group 2 (75.8%) and group 3 (46.8%) (p = 0.003). And if nodal width at acute flare was >8mm and interval change of nodal width was >3mm, the incidence of HBeAg seroconversion will be 75% (p<0.001).
Larger perihepatic lymph nodes are seen in CHB acute flare patients with positive HBeAg and the magnitude of nodal width change may predict HBeAg seroconversion at recovery.