Author(s): Kumar A
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Abstract Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global problem and the world has 350 million carriers of chronic hepatitis B. Over 50 \% of these have acquired their infection vertically from their mothers (mother-to-child transmission [MTCT]). Majority (>90 \%) of vertically-acquired infection results into chronic infection, due to induction of an immune-tolerant state. Hence, management of chronic HBV during pregnancy and strategies to prevent MTCT would go a long way in global control of HBV infection and the morbidity and mortality associated with it. However, chronic HBV infection in pregnancy presents a unique challenge, because of existence of a complex relationship between the physiological changes of pregnancy and the pathophysiological response of body to HBV. This relationship may lead to a varied presentation of the patient to the doctor depending on the period of her pregnancy and stage of her liver disease. Each of these modes of presentation raises issues that need to be addressed for successful maternal and fetal outcome, including prevention of MTCT of HBV. This review will try to give a practical approach in addressing these issues.
This article was published in Indian J Gastroenterol
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research