Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a worldwide problem and can cause acute liver failure, acute hepatitis, chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer. In areas of high prevalence such as in Asia, Africa, southern Europe, and Latin America, the hepatitis B surface antigen positive rate ranges from 2% to 20%. In endemic areas, HBV infection occurs mainly during infancy and early childhood. Mother-to-infant transmission accounts for approximately half of the chronic HBV infections. In contrast to infection in adults, HBV infection during early childhood results in a much higher rate of persistent infection and long-term serious complications such as liver cirrhosis and HCC. Three phases of chronic hepatitis B have been identified: the immune-tolerant phase, the immune-active phase, and the inactive hepatitis B phase. These phases of infection are characterized by variations in viral replication, hepatic inflammation, spontaneous clearance, and response to antiviral therapy. The optimal goal of antiviral therapy for chronic HBV infection is to eradicate HBV and to prevent its related liver complications. However, due to the limited effect of available therapies in viral eradication, the goal of treatment is to reduce viral replication, to minimize liver injury, and to reduce infectivity. In this review the current recommendations for monitoring and treating chronic HBV infection in children are reviewed. JPGN 48:399-404, 2009.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2009|
- Viral hepatitis
- Chronic hepatitis B virus