HBF is pleased to connect our blog readers to Christine Kukka’s monthly HBV Journal Review that she writes for the HBV Advocate. The journal presents the latest in hepatitis B research, treatment, and prevention from recent academic and medical journals. This month, the following topics are explored:
- Twenty-five Percent of HBV-Infected Women Have Liver “Flares” after Childbirth
- Experts: Do Not Treat Patients in the Immune-Tolerant Stage of Infection
- Entecavir and Tenofovir Equally Effective in HBeAg-positive Patients and Cirrhotics
- Tenofovir Effective in Patients with Adefovir- and Lamivudine-Resistance
- Adding Interferon to Ongoing Antiviral Treatment Effective in HBeAg-positive Patients
- Antivirals Improve Survival Among Hepatitis B Patients
- Interferon Effective in HBeAg-negative Patients, Early HBsAg Declines Predict Success
- Study Finds Asian Immigrants, Especially Chinese, at High Risk of Hepatitis B
- Immunization Continues to Protect Against Hepatitis B Decades Later
- Doctors Fail to Vaccinate Hepatitis Patients Against Other Hepatitis Infections
- Study Confirms HBV Patients Have Higher Kidney Disease Rates
December 1, 2014
Volume 11, Issue 12
by Christine M. Kukka
Twenty-five Percent of HBV-Infected Women Have Liver “Flares” after Childbirth
One-quarter of hepatitis B-infected women have surges in their liver enzymes, indicating liver damage and inflammation, after giving birth, according to a report published in the November 2014 issue of the journal Gut.
The “flares” are spikes in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. When these ALT enzymes climb above normal, which is between 7 to 35 international units per liter (IU/L) for women, it indicates liver cell damage from the hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
The researchers measured ALT levels in 108 women’s blood samples within six to 12 weeks after they gave birth and again at 12 months. They also monitored the women’s viral load (HBV DNA) and their hepatitis B “e” antigen (HBeAg) status.
Twenty-seven of the 108 new mothers (25%) experienced surges in their ALT levels, which ranged from 38 to 1,654 IU/L. All of these flares were short-lived and none appeared to cause lingering or severe liver damage. HBeAg-positive women had more flares than HBeAg-negative women.
Researchers speculate the postpartum flares may be linked to changes in the women’s immune systems following childbirth.