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Jonas M.M.,Childrens Hospital Boston | Block J.M.,Hepatitis B Foundation | Haber B.A.,Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia | Karpen S.J.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 6 more authors.
Hepatology | Year: 2010

Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in children presents a therapeutic challenge for the practitioner. Decisions regarding selection of patients who may benefit from treatment, appropriate timing of treatment, and the choice of antiviral therapy are complex and are compounded by the limited number of drugs that have been studied in children. An expert panel of nationally recognized pediatric liver specialists was convened by the Hepatitis B Foundation on August 11, 2009, to consider clinical practice relative to the therapeutic options available for children. A detailed account of these discussions is provided, and the opinions expressed are based on consensus of the experts, as well as on published evidence when available. The panel concludes that, at this time, there is no established benefit of treatment of children in the immune tolerant phase, and there is a very high risk of development of drug resistance. In addition, there is no indication for treatment of children in the inactive carrier state. For children in the immune active or reactivation phases, liver histology can help guide treatment decisions, and family history of liver disease, especially hepatocellular carcinoma, may argue for early treatment in some cases. Outside of clinical trials, interferon is the agent of choice in most cases. Nucleos(t)ide analogues are secondary therapies, and children who receive these agents require careful monitoring for development of resistance. There are a few situations when treatment is indicated regardless of HBV DNA or alanine aminotransferase levels. There is still much to be elucidated about the appropriate use of HBV therapy in children. Until more clinical data and therapeutic options are available, a conservative approach is warranted. Copyright © 2010 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Source

Persson E.C.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Graubard B.I.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | London W.T.,Fox Chase Cancer Center | Weber J.-P.,Institute National Of Sante Publique Du Quebec | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2012

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p'-DDT), an organochlorine pesticide known to have deleterious health effects in humans, has been linked to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in rodents. A recent study has reported that p,p'-DDT and its most persistent metabolite, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE), may also be associated with HCC in humans. To examine whether there is an association between p,p'-DDT and/or p,p'-DDE in a population at high-risk of developing HCC, a nested case-control study was conducted within the 83,794 person Haimen City Cohort in China. Sera and questionnaire data were collected from all participants between 1992 and 1993. This study included 473 persons who developed HCC and 492 who did not, frequency matched on sex, age and area of residence. p,p'-DDT and p,p'-DDE levels were determined by mass spectrometry. Hepatitis B viral infection status (based on hepatitis B virus surface antigen; HBsAg) was also determined. p,p'-DDT and/or p,p'-DDE serum levels were significantly associated with sex, area of residence, occupation, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. Adjusting for age, sex, area of residence, HBsAg, family history of HCC, history of acute hepatitis, smoking, alcohol, occupation (farmer vs. other) and levels of p,p'-DDT or p,p'-DDE, odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated via unconditional logistic regression. Overall, the highest quintile of p,p'-DDT was associated with an increased risk of HCC, OR = 2.96 95% CI; 1.19-7.40. There were no statistically significant associations with p,p'-DDE. Overall, these results suggest that recent exposure to p,p'-DDT may increase risk of HCC. Copyright © 2012 UICC. Source

Gish R.G.,Hepatitis B Foundation | Gutierrez J.A.,University of Miami | Navarro-Cazarez N.,University of California at San Diego | Giang K.,University of California at San Diego | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis | Year: 2014

Early identification of chronic hepatitis B is important for optimal disease management and prevention of transmission. Cost and lack of access to commercial hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) immunoassays can compromise the effectiveness of HBV screening in resource-limited settings and among marginalized populations. High-quality point-of-care (POC) testing may improve HBV diagnosis in these situations. Currently available POC HBsAg assays are often limited in sensitivity. We evaluated the NanoSign® HBs POC chromatographic immunoassay for its ability to detect HBsAg of different genotypes and with substitutions in the 'a' determinant. Thirty-seven serum samples from patients with HBV infection, covering HBV genotypes A-G, were assessed for HBsAg titre with the Roche Elecsys HBsAg II quantification assay and with the POC assay. The POC assay reliably detected HBsAg at a concentration of at least 50 IU/mL for all genotypes, and at lower concentrations for some genotypes. Eight samples with substitutions in the HBV 'a' determinant were reliably detected after a 1/100 dilution. The POC strips were used to screen serum samples from 297 individuals at risk for HBV in local clinical settings (health fairs and outreach events) in parallel with commercial laboratory HBsAg testing (Quest Diagnostics EIA). POC testing was 73.7% sensitive and 97.8% specific for detection of HBsAg. Although the POC test demonstrated high sensitivity over a range of genotypes, false negatives were frequent in a clinical setting. Nevertheless, the POC assay offers advantages for testing in both developed and resource-limited countries due to its low cost (0.50) and immediately available results. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Wong R.J.,Alameda Health System | Aguilar M.,Alameda Health System | Gish R.G.,Hepatitis B Foundation | Gish R.G.,Stanford University | And 2 more authors.
Liver Transplantation | Year: 2015

Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a surrogate marker of liver disease severity, and more severe HE is associated with higher mortality among patients with chronic liver disease. However, whether severity of HE at the time of liver transplantation (LT) directly impacts post-LT survival or whether this suspected mortality linkage is due to more severe liver disease and subsequently higher rates of post-LT infection is not well defined. Using population-based data from the 2003 to 2013 United Network for Organ Sharing registry, we evaluated the impact of HE at the time of LT on post-LT survival among adults in the United States. Survival was stratified by HE severity (none, grade 1-2, grade 3-4) and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score and was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier methods and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models. From 2003 to 2013, 59,937 patients underwent LT (36.1%, no HE; 53.8%, grade 1-2 HE; 10.2%, grade 3-4 HE). Compared to no HE, patients with grade 3-4 HE had significantly lower overall post-LT survival (1-year, 82.5% versus 90.3%; P < 0.001; 5-year, 69.1% versus 74.4%; P < 0.001). On multivariate regression, grade 3-4 HE was independently associated with lower overall post-LT survival (HR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.17-1.39; P < 0.001). However, the increased mortality associated with HE is observed primarily within the first year following LT and was a reflection of higher rates of infection-related deaths among patients with more severe HE. In conclusion, grade 3-4 HE at the time of LT is associated with lower post-LT survival, with a proposed direct or indirect association of more severe HE before LT with increased rates of post-LT infections. Increased awareness and vigilance toward treating HE before LT and more aggressive monitoring and treatment for infections in the perioperative setting may improve LT outcomes. © 2015 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Source

Evans A.A.,Drexel University | Cohen C.,Hepatitis B Foundation | Huang P.,Haimen City Center for Disease Control and Prevention | Qian L.,Haimen City Center for Disease Control and Prevention | And 4 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2015

In regions where hepatitis B virus (HBV) is endemic, perinatal transmission is common. Infected newborns have a 90% chance of developing chronic HBV infection, and 1 in 4 will die prematurely from HBV-related liver disease. In 2010, the Hepatitis B Foundation and the Haimen City CDC launched the Gateway to Care campaign in Haimen City, China to improve awareness, prevention, and control of HBV infection citywide. The campaign included efforts to prevent perinatal HBV transmission by screening all pregnant women for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), following those who tested positive, and administering immunoprophylaxis to their newborns at birth. Of 5407 pregnant women screened, 185 were confirmed HBsAg-positive and followed until delivery. At age one, 175 babies were available for follow up testing. Of those, 137 tested negative for HBsAg and positive for antibodies to HBsAg, indicating protection. An additional 34 HBsAg-negative babies also tested negative for antibodies to HBsAg or had indeterminate test results, were considered to have had inadequate immune responses to the vaccine, and were given a booster dose. A higher prevalence of nonresponse to HBV vaccine was observed among babies born to hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive mothers and mothers with high HBV DNA titers. The remaining 4 babies tested positive for HBsAg and negative for antibodies, indicative of active HBV infection. The mothers of all 4 had viral loads ≥8×106 copies/ml in the third trimester. Although inadequate response or nonresponse to HBV vaccine was more common among babies born to HBeAg-positive and/or high viral load mothers, these risk factors did not completely predict nonresponsiveness. All babies born to HBV-infected mothers should be tested upon completion of the vaccine series to ascertain adequate protection. Some babies of HBeAg-positive mothers with high viral load may still become HBV infected despite timely immunoprophylaxis with HBV vaccine and HBIG. © 2015 The Authors. Source

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