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QJM. 2008 Apr;101(4):307-12. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hcn007. Epub 2008 Feb 16.

Ante-natal screening and post-natal follow-up of hepatitis B in the West Midlands of England.

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  • 1University Hospital Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TH, Birmingham, UK.



We established at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham a post-natal follow-up care service for hepatitis B virus (HBV) positive women diagnosed through ante-natal screening.


Virological and clinical follow-up of HBsAg positive mothers detected through ante-natal screening in Birmingham.


Retrospective observational study.


We evaluated 117 post-natal mothers with chronic HBV infection between April 2003 and December 2006. Patients were first seen at least 3 months post-delivery and followed up.


Most of the women were of Asian or African origin (107 of 117 patients). Five out of 117 (4%) patients had undergone serum HBsAg clearance by the time of post-natal review, and 112 patients had persisting HBsAg-positivity (seven HBeAg positive and 105 HBeAg negative). HBeAg positive women were younger than HBeAg negative patients (median 21 vs 30-years old). Fifty percent of HBeAg negative women had detectable serum HBV DNA at the time of initial review. HBeAg positive women had higher serum HBV DNA titres than those negative for HBeAg (median 40 million copies/ml vs 4323 copies/ml). The majority of patients had normal serum transaminases. A single case of clinically significant liver disease was identified in a woman with HBV and delta virus infection.


Very few women who were diagnosed with chronic HBV infection at ante-natal screening have clinical evidence of liver disease. However, many have high levels of virus replication and remain at risk for the future development of liver disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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