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Ann Rheum Dis. 2004 Sep;63(9):1128-30.

Hepatitis B vaccination in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

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Department of Pediatrics, Cerrahpaa Medical Faculty, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.



To evaluate the responsiveness of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) to hepatitis B vaccination and to determine the most useful vaccination schedule.


39 children with JIA were enrolled in the study; all were in remission and negative to serological testing for hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg). The control group consisted of 41 healthy children. There were two different vaccination schedules: group I was vaccinated at 0, 1, and 3 months; group II was vaccinated at 0, 1, and 6 months. Positive responsiveness to the vaccine was defined as an anti-hepatitis B antibody titre above 10 mIU/ml.


All the children except one with systemic JIA developed an antibody response. None of the JIA patients experienced a flare up or clinical deterioration related to the vaccination. The antibody levels in children with JIA were significantly lower than in the healthy controls. Comparison of the antibody levels between the two vaccination schedules showed no statistical difference in the controls; in the JIA subjects the group II schedule resulted in a trend to a greater response than the group I schedule (p<0.07). Vaccine responsiveness was not influenced by either methotrexate or prednisolone treatment.


Children with JIA had an adequate response to hepatitis B vaccination and the response was not affected by immunosuppressive treatment. A vaccination schedule at 0, 1, and 6 months seems to be preferable to 0, 1, and 3 months.

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