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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2009 Dec;10(17):2801-9. doi: 10.1517/14656560903304071.

Treatment of viral hepatitis in pregnancy.

Author information

1
University of Milan Medical School, Sacco Clinical Sciences Institute, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Via GB Grassi 74, 20157 Milan, Italy. simonafiore.burt@libero.it

Abstract

Viral hepatitis can be caused by the hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses. In the Western world, hepatitis A, B or C do not seem to influence the course of pregnancy, whereas hepatitis E infection, when contracted during the second or third trimester, seems to have a higher risk of developing into a fulminant hepatitis. Mother-to-infant transmission of hepatitis A seems to be very uncommon. The majority of HBsAg-positive and HBeAg-positive mothers can transmit the disease vertically. The timing of transmission is predominantly peripartum, and newborns of HBsAg-positive mothers should receive hepatitis B immunoglobulins within 12 h of birth, with HBV vaccine at birth and 1 and 6 months later. Hepatitis C is more often a chronic disease. Vertical transmission of hepatitis C is considered to be relatively rare but high viraemia or coinfection with HIV can increase this risk. There is currently no treatment to prevent this vertical transmission and pregnancies among HCV-positive mothers should not be discouraged. Infants should be tested for anti-HCV at 1 year and followed for the development of hepatitis. Breast feeding does not seem to play an important role in the transmission of hepatitis B and C.

PMID:
19929703
DOI:
10.1517/14656560903304071
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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