Optimal management of pediatric hepatitis C infection: a review
Amanda Fifi, Andrea Barreto, Aymin Delgado-Borrego
Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA
Abstract: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a blood-borne infection and one of the most important global health problems at present. This infection is the most common cause of liver transplantation in the USA, and is associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and high health care costs. Although children represent a fraction of the total infected population, pediatric HCV is a condition with an important health impact. The natural history of pediatric HCV is not fully understood. While most young patients are characterized by having mild liver disease during childhood, many have moderate and some have advanced fibrosis even early on in life. The factors that determine these differences have not been established. There have been significant advances with regard to treatment of HCV infection among adults over the last few years. Management of affected children has also improved and is expected to achieve a sustained virologic response in the majority of patients treated in the near future. This review discusses the epidemiology and present knowledge about the natural history of pediatric HCV infection, focuses on current management options, and provides a brief overview of future therapies.
Keywords: hepatitis C virus, children, management
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