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Korean J Hepatol. 2011 Mar;17(1):1-8. doi: 10.3350/kjhep.2011.17.1.1.

Chronic hepatitis B in pregnancy: unique challenges and opportunities.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) affects 350 million individuals worldwide. Perinatal transmission leads to high rates of chronic infection and complications, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. It is important to recognize and appropriately treat CHB in pregnancy, thereby reducing the risk of neonatal transmission and HBV-associated morbidity and mortality. Screening for CHB is recommended in all pregnant mothers as is universal vaccination of infants with hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine with or without hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG). This has resulted in a lower incidence of HBsAg seropositivity and HCC in regions where universal infant vaccination has been endorsed. Mode of delivery and breastfeeding do not appear to affect HBV transmission rates based on available data. Overall, CHB does not increase perinatal maternal-fetal mortality. Administration of oral antiviral therapy during the third trimester to HBsAg-positive mothers with HBV DNA‚Č•7 log IU/mL may be useful in preventing breakthrough infection. Treatment may be considered earlier in pregnancy for persistently active liver disease shown by high ALT, HBV DNA levels and/or significant hepatic fibrosis. Lamivudine, tenofovir and telbivudine are safe and effective and are the agents of choice in pregnancy. However, further clinical studies are necessary to elucidate the role of antiviral therapy in the pregnant HBV carrier.

PMID:
21494071
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3304622
Free PMC Article

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