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.
Perrillo RP, Martin P, Lok AS. Preventing Hepatitis B Reactivation Due to Immunosuppressive Drug Treatments. JAMA. 2015;313(16):1617-1618. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.2571