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World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Feb 14;21(6):1738-48. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i6.1738.

Management of patients with hepatitis B in special populations.

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Evangelos Cholongitas, 4 Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School of Aristotle University, Hippokration General Hospital of Thessaloniki, 54642 Thessaloniki, Greece.


The development of effective nucleos(t)ide analogs (NAs) against hepatitis B virus (HBV) has improved the outcome of patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). This review updates issues related to the management of CHB patients included in special populations. Entecavir (ETV) and tenofovir (TDF) represent the currently recommended first-line NAs in patients with HBV decompensated cirrhosis. The combination of HBV immunoglobulin (usually for a finite duration) and NA is considered the standard of care for prophylaxis against HBV recurrence after liver transplantation. TDF is the best choice for hemodialysis patients and in patients with chronic kidney disease with nucleoside resistance. ETV and telbivudine are the preferred options in naïve renal transplant recipients and with low viremia levels, respectively. All hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive candidates should be treated with NAs before renal transplantation to achieve undetectable HBV DNA at the time of transplantation. Conventional interferon or NAs can also be used in children, on the basis of well-established therapeutic indication. Pregnant women at high risk of perinatal transmission could be treated with lamivudine, telbivudine or TDF in the last trimester of pregnancy. HBsAg-positive patients under immunosuppression should receive NA pre-emptively (regardless of HBV DNA levels) up to 12 mo after its cessation. In HBsAg negative, anti-HBc positive patients under immunosuppression, further studies are needed to form a final conclusion; however, it seems that anti-HBV prophylaxis is justified in such patients with hematological diseases and/or for those receiving rituximab-containing regimens, regardless of their anti-HBs or serum HBV DNA status.


Antiviral therapy; Entecavir; Hepatitis B; Telbivudine; Tenofovir

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