Author(s): Vassilopoulos D, Calabrese LH
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Abstract Despite the major advances towards better prevention and treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, these two chronic infections still account for ∼500 million infected people and 1 million deaths per year worldwide. Rheumatologists are frequently encountering patients with rheumatic disease who have co-existing HBV or HCV infection in daily clinical practice. Moreover, over the past decade, a number of studies have shown an increased risk of HBV reactivation and liver-related complications in HBV-infected patients treated with biologic agents (especially anti-TNF therapies). In this Review, the basic viral characteristics of HBV and HCV, as well as the natural course of chronic HBV and HCV infection, are outlined. Furthermore, a rational clinical approach for diagnosis and treatment of these comorbid conditions in the context of rheumatic disease is presented.
This article was published in Nat Rev Rheumatol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology