Response of Treatment of Hepatitis B in Children-A Case Series from India

Ira Shah

Chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major cause of liver disease leading to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Children are more likely to develop chronic HBV infection. Treatment with Interferon alfa (IFN-α), lamivudine (3TC) or adefovir are recommended in children with chronic active HBV with replicating virus. We present a series of 7 patients treated with combination IFN-α (5-10 million units/m² subcutaneously thrice a week)+3TC (4 mg/kg/day, not exceeding 100 mg/day) for 6 months and additional 3TC for 6 months alone). Of the 7 patients, one patient had complete response and viral load remained suppressed even after 2 years of therapy and remaining 6 patients had partial response (viral load became undetectable, but ‘e’ antigen remained positive). Thus we concluded that the antiviral treatment in children while effective remains partial as the reappearance of HBV DNA at variable time after stopping therapy can still occur.