The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 673–679

Chronic viral hepatitis

  • Mei-Hwei Chang
Symposium: Pediatric Hepatology—Part II

DOI: 10.1007/BF02825113

Cite this article as:
Chang, M. Indian J Pediatr (1995) 62: 673. doi:10.1007/BF02825113


Among hepatitis A to E viruses, hepatitis B, C, and D viruses can cause chronic hepatitis, in both children and adults. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the most prevalent and important one. Perinatal transmission accounts for about 40–45% of chronic HBV infection in hyperendemic areas. Horizontal transmission through intramuscular injection using non-sterile needles and intrafamilial spread accounts for the other half of carriers. During the natural course of HBV infection, the host gradually clears HBV and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), liver damage and elevation of aminotransferases occur during the process of HBV clearance. The most effective way to eliminate HBV infection is immunoprophylaxis starting since birth. It can prevent both HBV and hepatitis D virus (HDV) infections. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in children occurs mainly in high risk children, such as those who received blood product or injection using non-sterile needles, or infants of HCV viremic mothers, etc. Screening of blood product reduced markedly the prevalence of post-transfusion HCV infection, but the prevention of sporadic cases requires HCV vaccination which is still under investigation.

Key words

Hepatitis B virusHepatitis C virusHepatitis D virusImmunoprophylaxisSeroepidemiology

Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mei-Hwei Chang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, College of MedicineNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan