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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2006  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 106-127

Management of chronic hepatitis B in children


Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Oncology, Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland, Ul. Nowe Ogrody 1-6, 80-803 Gdańsk, Poland

Correspondence Address:
Anna Liberek
Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Oncology, Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland, Ul. Nowe Ogrody 1-6, 80-803 Gdańsk
Poland
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Chronic hepatitis B remains a major public health problem, affecting approximately about 350 million people globally. The number of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infected children has not been fully documented. The natural history of HBV infection reflects the dynamic host-virus interactions related to the condition of the host immune system; hence, the clinical course of HBV differs between children and adults. The immaturity of immune system in young children is responsible for the fact that nearly 90% of HBV infections acquired in infancy and 40-70% HBV infections before the age of 3 years result in chronic carrier state of the virus. Therefore a large population is in need of effective and save treatment of this disease. Significant advances have been made during the last decades in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. The epidemiological situation of HBV infection, its natural history, clinical outcome with its serious long-term consequences and therapeutical approach in children are reviewed in the paper.


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