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Fifty eight patients with chronic viral hepatitis B (HBV) were randomised in a prospectively controlled trial. Thirty patients were treated with 3 million units (MU) of interferon alfa-2b subcutaneously thrice weekly for four months. Twenty eight controls received no treatment. The follow up period after treatment was six months. Twenty eight treated patients and 27 controls completed the protocol. One woman in the treatment group showed a complete response, and eight other treated patients (32%) showed a partial response. Three patients in the control group (11%) lost hepatitis B e antigen and HBV-DNA spontaneously. This finding is statistically significant (p < 0.05). The elimination of HBV markers from the serum was associated with a return to normal of serum aminotransferase activities. Reactivation of hepatitis was not observed after seroconversion.