The potential antiviral resistance mutations within hepatitis B virus (HBV) reverse transcriptase (RT) region for nucleos(t)ide analogues (NA) are not well known. Especially, the effect of pre-existing antiviral drug resistance mutations in untreated patients in comparison to the resistance developed after treatment is not still clear. Sixteen naive chronic hepatitis B patients were studied. None of the patients had received NA treatment prior to the serum samples being collected. Forty-two potential NA resistance (NAr) mutation sites were screened by ultra-deep pyrosequencing (UDPS). After therapy, mutations conferring treatment resistance were detected by LiPA. Serum samples taken before treatment showed no classic primary or compensatory/secondary drug resistance mutations. However, NAr mutations found in 6 isolates (37.5%) involved 7 positions including rtL91I, rtT128I, rtQ215P, rtF221Y, rtN238D, rtC2565, and rtI266G. Substitutions at 3 NAr mutation sites (rtT128I, rtN238D, and rtC256S) were detected in 3 unresponsive patients developing drug resistance after NA treatment. One patient with rtI266G mutation also developed drug resistance after lamivudine (LAM) therapy. However, the relationship between rtI266G mutation and NA drug resistance was not previously reported. These results suggest that association of potential mutations besides the primary and secondary/compensatory resistance mutations should be investigated. Investigation of NAr mutations before treatment may be important for the success of the treatment. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.