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Ann Intern Med. 2013 Jan 15;158(2):109-13.

Reducing risk for mother-to-infant transmission of hepatitis C virus: a systematic review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Author information

1
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mother-to-infant transmission is the leading cause of childhood hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, with up to 4000 new cases each year in the United States.

PURPOSE:

To evaluate effects of mode of delivery, labor management strategies, and breastfeeding practices on risk for mother-to-infant transmission of HCV.

DATA SOURCES:

MEDLINE (1947 to May 2012), the Cochrane Library Database, clinical trial registries, and reference lists.

STUDY SELECTION:

Randomized trials and observational studies on mode of delivery, labor management strategies, and breastfeeding practices and risk for mother-to-infant transmission of HCV.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Investigators abstracted and reviewed study details and quality using predefined criteria.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Eighteen observational studies evaluated the association between mode of delivery, labor management strategies, or breastfeeding practices and risk for mother-to-infant HCV transmission. Fourteen studies (2 good-quality, 4 fair-quality, and 8 poor-quality studies) found no clear association between mode of delivery (vaginal versus cesarean delivery) and risk for transmission. Two studies (1 good-quality and 1 poor-quality study) reported an association between prolonged duration of ruptured membranes and increased risk for transmission. Fourteen studies (2 good-quality, 2 fair-quality, and 10 poor-quality studies) found no association between breastfeeding and risk for transmission.

LIMITATIONS:

Only English-language articles were included. Studies were observational, and most had important methodological shortcomings, including failure to adjust for potential confounders and small sample sizes.

CONCLUSION:

No intervention has been clearly demonstrated to reduce the risk for mother-to-infant HCV transmission. Avoidance of breastfeeding does not seem to be indicated for reducing transmission risk.

PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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