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Managing pediatric hepatitis C: current and emerging treatment options

Authors Wikrom Karnsakul, Mary Kay Alford, Kathleen B Schwarz

Published 13 August 2009 Volume 2009:5 Pages 651—660

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/TCRM.S5078

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

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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