, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 149-154

Management of chronic hepatitis B and C virus infections

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Abstract

Hepatitis B and C virus (HBV and HCV) infections present an important health problem causing significant morbidity and mortality on a worldwide scale. The younger the subjects infected, the higher the risk predisposing to progression towards chronic infection. Treatment of chronic HBV and HCV infections is aimed at reducing hepatic inflammation and thus improving the symptoms, decreasing the likelihood of long-term sequelae such as hepatocellular carcinoma, and increasing the survival rate. Interferon accelerates the spontaneous course of chronic HBV infection in children with greater disease activity and lower levels of replication. There is limited information on the use of lamivudine and its long-term benefit in children with chronic HBV infection. The response of combination therapy with IFN and ribavirin in children with chronic HCV infection is still under investigation. The long-term clinical and virological effects of various drugs used in chronic HBV and HCV infections on children remain to be evaluated.