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Ann Hepatol. 2010;9 Suppl:98-102.

Management of hepatitis C virus infection in childhood.

Author information

1
Buenos Aires, Argentina. mgaloppo@hotmail.com

Abstract

Infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a worldwide health problem with more than 170 million infected individuals. In children, since 1992 almost all infections occurred through vertical transmission from an infected mother to her newborn infant. Natural history of HCV infection in children is not yet well defined, most children are asymptomatic and may remain so for decades. Most infected individuals (60-80%), regardless of their age at infection, become chronically infected with HCV. Spontaneous resolution in children appears to be infrequent. Positive HCV antibody implicate that patient has been exposed to the virus (EIA test). To discriminate between active or resolved HCV viral infection it is necessary to perform HCV RNA (PCR). Liver biopsy assess degree of liver injury and exclude concurrent diseases. HCV chronic infection is slow progressive in childhood. Progression of fibrosis seems to be a function of infection duration. Treatment objective is clearance of HCVRNA. IFNa is recognized as the drug approved for hepatitis C treatment in pediatric population. Combination therapy with IFNa or pegylated IFNa plus ribavirin is recently approved by US FDA and EMEA and clinical trials are in progress.

PMID:
20714004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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