Managing pediatric hepatitis C: current and emerging treatment options
Wikrom Karnsakul, Mary Kay Alford, Kathleen B Schwarz
Pediatric Liver Center, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
Abstract: Since 1992, the maternal–fetal route of transmission has become the dominant route for acquisition of hepatitis C (HCV) infection by children. With increasing knowledge of antiviral treatment for HCV infection, the main goal of therapy is to achieve a sustained virological response (SVR) as defined by undetectable serum HCV RNA by polymerase chain reaction assay six months after cessation of therapy. In young children, interferon therapy is more effective than in adults with chronic HCV infection (CHC). Although children clearly have a milder degree of liver pathology, data have indicated that hepatic inflammation from HCV infection can progress to fibrosis or cirrhosis in children. Hepatocellular carcinoma has been reported in adolescents with CHC. In this article, recent improvements in therapy of children with CHC and in the clinical development of new emerging drugs with potential use in children will be reviewed.
Keywords: chronic hepatitis C, children, current therapy, pegylated interferon
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