A longitudinal study of 44 haemophilic children, all in a treatment programme with factor concentrates, was undertaken to evaluate the occurrence, characteristics, and evolution of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Twenty four children (55%) (group I) showed signs of HBV infection, while 20 (45%) (group II) did not. Age at onset of treatment, number of infusions, and total amount of concentrate received did not show significant differences between the two groups. In group I only four children (16%) had symptomatic acute hepatitis. Chronic liver disease was present in nine patients (38% of infected children). The early age of infection would seem to be an important factor for predicting chronic evolution. Evidence of 6 infection in three children with severe liver disease seemed to confirm the high pathogenicity of this agent. Because of the risks associated with chronic HBV infection a careful follow up of patients positive for hepatitis B surface antigen is mandatory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health