NASPGHAN Practice Guidelines: Diagnosis and Management of Hepatitis C Infection in Infants, Children, and Adolescents


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Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an RNA virus that affects >180 million individuals worldwide with a high propensity for chronic infection. Children with HCV infection differ from adults in several ways including some modes of transmission, rates of clearance, progression of fibrosis, and the duration of potential chronic infection when acquired at birth. Since the discovery of HCV in 1989, there have been significant advances in the understanding of the virology and natural history of chronic HCV infection in children. In addition, there are now several treatment options for children with chronic hepatitis C infection and many new therapies on the horizon. As a consequence, the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition brought together experts in pediatric hepatology to review the available data in children and provide clinicians with approaches to the diagnosis, management, and prevention of HCV infection in children and adolescents. The guideline details the epidemiology and natural history of HCV infection in children, the diagnostic workup, monitoring and treatment of disease, and provides an update on future treatment options and areas of research.

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