BackgroundHepatitis B virus DNA quantification is essential for managing chronic hepatitis B (CHB). We compared the performance of artus HBV QS-RGQ (QIAGEN GmbH, Germany) and CAP/CTM v2.0 HBV assays (Roche Molecular Diagnostics, USA) in CHB patients.MethodsA comparative evaluation between two assays was performed with 508 clinical serum samples. Precision, linearity, and the limit of detection (LOD) of QS-RGQ assay was evaluated by using the WHO standard 97/750 and clinical samples.ResultsDetection rates and viral loads as determined QS-RGQ assay were significantly lower than those from the CAP/CTM v2.0 assay (52.8% vs 60.6%; 3.55±1.77 IU/mL vs 4.18±1.89 IU/mL, P<0.0001). The kappa coefficient between qualitative results was 0.79 (95% confidence interval, 0.74 to 0.85). Bland-Altman plot found a mean difference of (QS-RGQ − CAP/CTM v2.0)=−0.63 log10 IU/mL (95% limit of agreement, −1.48 to 0.22). Repeatability and total imprecision (% CV) of the QS-RGQ assay were 1.0% and 1.1% at 2,000 IU/mL, and 0.7% and 1.4% at 20,000 IU/mL, respectively. Linearity of this assay ranged from 31.6 to 1.0±107 IU/mL, and the LOD was 2.95 IU/mL.ConclusionsThe artus HBV QS-RGQ assay showed good performance but significantly decreased detection rate and viral load compared with CAP/CTM v2.0 assays. This assay recommends using plasma; however, we used stored serum because of the retrospective study design. Usually HBV DNA quantification is performed in plasma or serum, but sample type and clinical relevance of quantitative values should be considered when determining the clinical application of this reagent.
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