Globally, hepatitis B infection is one of the most common communicable diseases. Acute hepatitis B may be asymptomatic or cause clinical illness similar to infections caused by other hepatotropic viruses (hepatitis A to E). Most acute infections resolve without sequelae; however, progression to chronic infection may occur. The risk for developing chronic infection is inversely related to age at the time of acquisition of infection. The main morbidity and mortality from hepatitis B occur secondary to chronic hepatitis B infection, which may result in cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Treatment of acute hepatitis B infection is primarily supportive. Children and adolescents with chronic hepatitis B infection should undergo routine monitoring for disease progression and to determine appropriate treatment initiation. Treatment includes antiviral agents and interferon and is usually managed by pediatric liver specialists. Hepatitis B is preventable with vaccination, which is universally recommended for infants in most industrialized nations as well as in many developing areas.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Netter's Infectious Disease|
|Number of pages||6|
|ISBN (Print)||9781437701265, 9781437701265|
|State||Published - Sep 9 2011|
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