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April 28, 2015

Preventing Hepatitis B Reactivation Due to Immunosuppressive Drug Treatments

Author Affiliations
  • 1Hepatology Division, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
  • 2Division of Hepatology, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
  • 3Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA. 2015;313(16):1617-1618. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.2571

Reactivation of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) can cause severe liver injury resulting in jaundice, liver failure, and death.1 This outcome continues to occur in patients receiving immunosuppressive drug therapy (ISDT) despite the ability to identify persons at risk with readily available and inexpensive blood tests for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc). Importantly, prophylactic antiviral therapy has been shown to be highly effective in preventing HBV reactivation.

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