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Medicas UIS

Print version ISSN 0121-0319


TORO-RENDON, Luis Guillermo. Infection by the Hepatitis B virus in pregnacy. Medicas UIS [online]. 2018, vol.31, n.2, pp.49-56. ISSN 0121-0319.


infection by the hepatitis B virus represents an important worldwide public health problem, since it generates a large burden of morbidity and mortality related to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In areas of high prevalence, vertical transmission is a major source of infection.


to review the presentation of the infection by the Hepatitis B virus during pregnancy and offer guidelines to treat this entity.

Search methodology:

a bibliographic search was made through Pubmed, LILACS and SciELO databases, and Google Scholar search engine, of articles published until august 2017, using the terms hepatitis B virus AND infection AND pregnancy. The search was restricted to articles of the last fifteen years, in english and spanish, including review articles, controlled clinical trials and meta-analysis. A total of 535 articles were obtained for review, from which 52 were referenced.


children from seropositive mothers for the surface antigen of hepatitis B should receive immunoglobulin and vaccination against hepatitis B in the first twelve hours after birth, reducing the vertical transmission rate from more than 90% to less than 10%. Antiviral therapy on the third gestational trimester can prevent immunoprophylactic failure, and should be used on mothers at high risk of vertical transmission. Recent data point towards tenofovir's safety during pregnancy, being the treatment of choice.


universal screening on pregnant women for the hepatitis B virus infection is a cost-effective measure to reduce vertical transmission. High hepatitis B virus surface antigen levels and mother's viral load, as well as antigen e presence, are associated with increased risk of vertical transmission. The combination of hepatitis B immunoglobulin and vaccination, given before twelve hours after birth, are associated to a reduction of the vertical transmission rate. Tenofovir is the best treatment option as antiviral therapy initiated on gestational weeks 28-32 in pregnant women at high risk of infection transmission. MÉD.UIS. 2018;31(2):49-56.

Keywords : Hepatitis B; Chronic hepatitis; Pregnancy; Infectious disease vertical transmission; Antiviral agents.

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