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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Apr;11(6):919-28. doi: 10.1517/14656561003637659.

Treatment of HBV/HCV coinfection.

Author information

  • 1Hannover Medical School, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Carl Neuberg Str. 1, D-30625 Hannover, Germany.

Abstract

IMPORTANCE OF THE FIELD:

Hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) virus infections are among the most common causes of advanced chronic liver disease worldwide. HBV/HCV coinfection is not uncommon with an estimated 7 - 20 million individuals affected worldwide. Patients with HBV/HCV coinfection have an increased risk for cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and even death.

AREAS COVERED IN THIS REVIEW:

The pathophysiology of HBV/HCV coinfection is complex, as different patterns of virological dominance may occur, which can even fluctuate over time. Recently, combination of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) plus ribavirin has been explored in HBV/HCV coinfected patients who are positive for HCV-RNA. HBV polymerase inhibitors may be indicated if HBV-DNA concentrations are above 2000 IU/ml. In this review, we summarize the epidemiology, viral interaction, its clinical features and the available treatment options.

WHAT THE READER WILL GAIN:

Insights into viral interaction of HBV/HCV coinfection and treatment individualization strategies are provided in the review.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:

Detailed serological and virological evaluations are required for HBV/HCV coinfected patients before initiation of antiviral therapy. At present, PEG-IFN-alpha plus ribavirin should be the treatment of choice in patients with dominant HCV replication. However, HBV rebound may occur after elimination of HCV, and thus close monitoring for both viruses is recommended even for patients with initially suppressed HBV-DNA.

PMID:
20166841
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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