Congenital Hepatitis B

Also known as: congenital HBV.

What is congenital hepatitis B?

Congenital hepatitis B is a viral infection of a baby’s liver which occurs when a pregnant women infected with HBV passes the virus onto her unborn infant. This may lead to acute or chronic liver disease, scarring and/or cancer of the liver.
 

What causes congenital hepatitis B? 

The hepatitis B virus is the direct cause of congenital hepatitis B which is found in blood and body fluids. Perinatal infections and childhood disease occurs through close body contact with infected persons. Some mothers may be unaware that they carry the virus and can pass it along to their baby without being aware of it.
 

What are the symptoms of congenital hepatitis B? 

In the newborn baby there may be no signs or symptoms, and an illness only presents in 5-15% of infected children aged 1-5 years. Infants/children may present with symptoms of acute hepatitis (such as abdominal pain, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), which may be life threatening from massive liver damage. Rare complications of viral hepatitis include symptoms of heart and pancreatic damage, nerve disorders, and anemia.
 

What are congenital hepatitis B care options?

Babies born to a mother with hepatitis B should be injected with HBV vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin within 12 hours of birth. A variety of antiviral drugs are available to treat active disease


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 2/21/2018 12:06:11 PM

From the Newsdesk

December Patient of the Month: Charlie

After surviving a high-risk pregnancy with a set of twins, the Strombom’s were faced with yet another complication. Their third child, an unborn baby named Charlie, was diagnosed with a congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM) and underwent two in utero interventions to allow for a full and healthy gestation period. Once delivered, the LifeFlight team from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital was on stand-by to transport Charlie from West Palm Beach to Miami.

December Patient of the Month: Charlie

After surviving a high-risk pregnancy with a set of twins, the Strombom’s were faced with yet another complication. Their third child, an unborn baby named Charlie, was diagnosed with a congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM) and underwent two in utero interventions to allow for a full and healthy gestation period. Once delivered, the LifeFlight team from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital was on stand-by to transport Charlie from West Palm Beach to Miami.