Author(s): GonzlezPeralta RP
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Abstract Since the discovery of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in 1989, significant advances have been made in our understanding of this important viral pathogen. Children at risk for HCV infection include recipients of potentially contaminated blood products and organ transplants, and infants born to HCV-infected mothers. Chronic HCV infection is usually asymptomatic in children but active hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma can occur. The development of treatment strategies for chronic hepatitis C in children has directly evolved from clinical trials in adults. Sustained virologic response, defined by undetectable HCV RNA in serum 24 wk after completion of treatment, occurs in approximately 36\% of children treated with conventional interferon alone and in about 50\% of those given conventional interferon in combination with ribavirin. Pegylated interferon-based treatment regimens are better than those based on conventional interferon in adults but little is known about pegylated interferon in children. Factors associated with a favorable response to antiviral therapy in children are similar to those in adults and include infection with HCV genotype 2 or 3 and low pretreatment serum HCV RNA levels. Treatment related adverse events in children include 'flu-like' syndrome, fatigue, anorexia, weight loss, depression, anemia, leukopenia and thrombocytopenia.
This article was published in Pediatr Transplant
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research