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July 23/30, 2019

Hepatitis B Screening in Pregnant Women: A Perspective on the New USPSTF Recommendations

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Fetal Medicine and Women’s Ultrasound, Los Angeles, California
  • 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles
JAMA. 2019;322(4):312-314. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.8252

Contemporary clinicians who provide obstetric care acknowledge screening of pregnant women for perinatally transmissible infectious diseases as a routine component of prenatal care,1 although this has not always been the case. For example, prenatal screening for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection only began to be discussed after rigorous trials conducted in the 1970s and 1980s in high-endemic areas demonstrated that identification of chronically infected pregnant women followed by targeted neonatal immunoprophylaxis (hepatitis B immunoglobulin and the first dose of HBV vaccine) significantly lowered the risk of chronic infection in these children from 90% to approximately 5% to 15%.2