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Recent Patents on Anti-Infective Drug Discovery


ISSN (Print): 1574-891X
ISSN (Online): 2212-4071

Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B in Children

Author(s): Aydan Kansu

Volume 3, Issue 1, 2008

Page: [64 - 69] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/157489108783413155

Price: $65


Chronic hepatitis B in children is mainly asymptomatic, but they are at life long risk for severe complications. Treatment is considered to suppress the virus and to prolong the survival by preventing the progression to cirrhosis and HCC. Therapeutic options for children are interferon-alpha (IFN-α) with antiviral, antiproliferative and immunomodulatory effects and lamivudine (LAM) which inhibits HBV replication and increases cellular immune response. IFN- α, 5 MU/m2, thrice weekly for 6 months is used in patients with high ALT levels which is associated with virologic response rate of 30-40%. Predictors of response are high ALT levels, low HBVDNA levels and high histological activity index. The response is sustained in 85%-90% of responders. Adverse events include flu-like syndrome, bone marrow suppression, hair loss, and psychiatric side effects, induction of autoimmunity and temporarily supression of weight gain and growth velocity. LAM, a nucleoside anolog, leads to a virologic response rate of 20-30% when used for 12 months. High ALT levels, low HBVDNA levels and high histological activity index predict better response. Maintenance of HBeAg seroconversion is 56-80%. Longer courses of treatment with LAM increases the seroconversion rate but with high mutation rate and viral resistance. Except for causing mutations, LAM doesn ’ t have serious adverse events. Different timing and durations of combination treatment with IFN and LAM were also evaluated without any significant superiority over monotherapy. In conclusion, the best approach for treatment of chronic HBV infection in children hasnt been determined yet. Future developments concerning new drugs and different treatment strategies are needed.

Keywords: Chronic hepatitis B infection, children, treatment

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