Update in management of hepatitis B in pregnancy and prevention of mother to child hepatitis B transmission

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Naichaya Chamroonkul, M.D.


hepatitis B, pregnancy, mother to child transmission


Even with two decades of widespread using hepatitis B vaccination, chronic hepatitis B remains a major global health problem. In Thailand, the prevalence of chronic hepatitis B infection was down from 8 - 10% in last decade to 5% recently. Failure to control mother to child transmission is one of the important barriers to the total elimination of hepatitis B infection from world population. In the majority, vertical transmission can be prevented with a universal screening program, immunoprophylaxis by administration of hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIg) for babies born to mothers with HBV. However, in mothers with a high viral load, the chance of immunoprophylaxis failure remains high. To date, there are standard recommendations by all international liver societies including AASLD, EASL and APASL suggest introducing an antiviral agent during the third trimester to CHB pregnant women with a high viral load. Previous US FDA pregnancy category B agents such as Tenofovir and Telbivudine are allowed through all trimesters of pregnancy and are effective for prevention of mother to child transmission. Breastfeeding for patients who receive antiviral agents can be allowed after a risk-benefit discussion with the patient and family.


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