Chronic HBV: which pregnant women should be treated?

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Universal HBV vaccination in infants has led to a dramatic decline of HBsAg prevalence in many parts of the world, but the positive rate of HBsAg in women of childbearing age is still high in endemic areas. Antiviral therapy during pregnancy may be indicated to control the liver disease of the mother or to prevent the MTCT. The decision on initiation, switching, continuation or stopage of the antiviral therapy should be made after careful consideration of the benefit and risk to both mothers and foetuses. For prepregnant women of childbearing age, a finite course of interferon is preferred if a pregnancy in the distant future is planned, whereas safer NAs could be started if a pregnancy in the near future is desired. For those who already started therapy with interferon or NAs before pregnancy, the switch to safer NAs is preferred. For women with newly diagnosed or with flare of CHB during pregnancy, category B NAs may be taken to treat their liver disease. For pregnant women with serum HBV DNA >106–7IU/ml, safer NAs could be started in the third trimester to further the reduce MTCT rate.

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