Special populations with hepatitis B virus infection#

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Treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection who have advanced disease or comorbidities can be challenging, and recommendations may differ from standard guidelines. Among the special populations that merit specific consideration are patients with compensated or decompensated cirrhosis, organ transplantation, acute hepatitis B, pregnancy, coinfection with hepatitis C and/or D virus, chronic renal failure, and children. Major advances have been made in management of many of these special populations because of recent increasing availability of oral nucleosides, which are generally well tolerated and highly effective despite presence of other morbidities or viral infections. Also important have been changes in the management of hepatitis B during the peri-liver transplantation period that allows for prevention of reinfection in the majority of cases. However, much remains to be done to determine which patients should be treated and which should be monitored on no specific therapy. Outcomes of chronic HBV infection in persons with coinfection and in children have varied from different areas of the world, but it is not clear whether these differences are due to host and racial differences or to viral genotypic differences. Further studies are particularly needed in assessing the safety and efficacy of therapy in pregnant women, in children, and in patients with hepatitis D and C virus coinfection. (Hepatology 2009;49:S146–S155.)

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