Antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis B in pregnancy

Calvin Q. Pan, Hannah M. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The management of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) during pregnancy remains a challenge and involves various aspects of maternal-fetal care. Despite the standard immunoprophylaxis, a significant portion of infants born to highly viremic mothers remain infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV). Emerging data suggest that antiviral therapy in the third trimester can prevent immunoprophylaxis failure. To minimize fetal exposure to antiviral agents, antiviral therapy during pregnancy should be reserved for mothers with advanced disease or who are at risk for hepatic decompensation. Current safety data suggest that lamivudine, telbivudine, or tenofovir may be used during pregnancy. However, the timing in initiating antiviral therapy requires careful assessment of risks and benefit. The authors provide a systematic review of the features of HBV during pregnancy, risk factors for vertical transmission, and evidence-based data on antiviral use during pregnancy. They propose an algorithm to assess the need of antiviral treatment and monitor mothers with CHB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-146
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Liver Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • antiviral treatment
  • drug safety
  • fetal exposure
  • hepatitis B in pregnancy
  • vertical transmission


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