As current treatment options almost never achieve eradication of hepatitis B virus (HBV), the most realistic goal for HBV treatment is persistent inhibition of viral replication and ALT normalization. Thus, the decision to start treatment should be based on careful patient selection and individualized decisions. Treatment is generally indicated in chronic hepatitis B patients with HBV DNA >2000 IU/mL, elevated ALT and/or at least moderate histological lesions, while all patients with cirrhosis and detectable HBV DNA should be treated. Patients with HBV DNA >20 000 IU/mL and ALT >2xULN (upper limit of normal), HBV DNA >2000 IU/mL and liver stiffness >9 or >12 kPa in case of normal or ≤5xULN, HBV DNA >2000 IU/mL and a family history of cirrhosis and/or HCC as well as HBeAg‐positive patients with HBV DNA >20 000 IU/mL and over 30 years old can begin treatment whatever the liver histology. Moreover, patients with HBV DNA >2000 IU/mL and at least moderate histological lesions can begin treatment whatever the ALT levels. Prophylactic treatment is indicated in HBV‐related liver transplantation patients to prevent recurrence, in the last trimester of pregnancy in women with high viraemia to prevent vertical transmission and in patients receiving immunosuppression/chemotherapy to prevent the reactivation of HBV. Treatment is also indicated in patients with co‐infections, extrahepatic manifestations and severe acute hepatitis B, or healthcare workers with viraemia. These treatment indications can only change if HBV eradication or at least HBsAg clearance can be achieved in the future in a significant proportion of patients.
cirrhosis, HBsAg, HBV DNA, hepatitis B, hepatocellular carcinoma, treatment indications