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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1989 Jul-Aug;4(4):339-44.

Changing aetiologic patterns of acute viral hepatitis in Taiwanese children.

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Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Republic of China.


During 1981-86, 76 children were diagnosed as having acute viral hepatitis at the Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University Hospital, which is a major referral centre for hepatitis in children in northern Taiwan. The majority (64%) of children had acute hepatitis B which had occurred mainly during infancy. Perinatal transmission from a hepatitis B e negative surface antigen (HBsAg) carrier mother or infection through blood transfusion from a donor who had escaped notice by a less sensitive screening test (reverse passive haemagglutination test) for HBsAg were the two important modes of transmission of hepatitis B virus. The number of cases of acute hepatitis B declined after 1984, with the beginning of the nation-wide hepatitis B vaccination programme. Due to an outbreak of hepatitis A in northern Taiwan in 1982, the number of cases of hepatitis A peaked that year. Subsequently, cases of acute hepatitis A decreased remarkably. Better socio-economic conditions and improved hygiene might have contributed to the marked decrease of viral hepatitis A. The frequency of non-A, non-B hepatitis remained stable during the study period. It is possible to conclude that the aetiologic pattern of acute hepatitis in Taiwanese children changed during the past 6 years: clinical cases of hepatitis A and B decreased, probably because of more effective control of hepatitis A and B virus infections, whereas the control of non-A, non-B virus apparently requires further efforts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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