CLADD E. STEVENS, M.D.
Perinatal hepatitis B virus infection is of concern for several reasons. First, nearly all infants who acquire the infection from their mothers in the newborn period will become chronic carriers of the virus (1). Second, although carriers usually remain healthy throughout childhood and early adult life, many (especially men) will eventually develop cirrhosis of the liver or hepatocellular carcinoma (2). Third, perinatal infection and the subsequent development of the chronic carrier state in these infants are largely preventable through immunoprophylaxis (3-8).
Prophylaxis against perinatal hepatitis B virus infection is possible because most infants acquire their infections not in utero but
STEVENS CE. Perinatal Hepatitis B Virus Infection: Screening of Pregnant Women and Protection of the Infant. Ann Intern Med. ;107:412–413. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-107-2-412
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1987;107(3):412-413.
Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Infectious Disease, Liver Disease.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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