Show Summary Details
Page of

Hepatitis B 

Hepatitis B
Chapter:
Hepatitis B
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198729228.003.0074
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 June 2019

Hepatitis C is a viral infection of the liver which may affect all age groups. It may lead to acute hepatitis or be asymptomatic. After infection, approximately 75% will have chronic infection. Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection may progress to chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, with an increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma. Rate of progression is usually slow, occurring over decades. HCV infection is a global problem, with high prevalence (5–10% or more) in Africa, Latin America, and Central and South East Asia. The commonest mode of acquisition of HCV for children in Europe is perinatal transmission from an infected mother, although the risk of vertical transmission is low (5%). Chronic hepatitis C develops in 90% of vertically infected infants. Most children with chronic hepatitis C are asymptomatic and usually have no clinical signs of chronic liver disease. Children with chronic hepatitis C infection should be referred to a paediatric specialist for treatment to prevent progression of HCV-related disease. Licensed treatment for children is a combination of subcutaneous pegylated interferon and oral ribavirin. Response to treatment in genotypes 1 and 4 is approximately 50%, and 90–95% in genotypes 2 and 3. Newer treatments with protease inhibitors (boceprevir or telaprevir) may have superior efficacy but additional side effects. Phase 3 trials in children are in progress.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.