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

March Patient of the Month: Theodore
03/15/2018 — Meet our March Patient of the Month, Theodore. Theodore was diagnosed with cleft palate, cleft lip and a heart problem when he was only 18 weeks old. After he was born, Theodore had to be admitted into the NICU to be able to perform the necessary surgeries for him to live a healthy life.
Kids Flu Center: Prevention and Care Tips for the Flu
02/07/2018 — Visit our flu page for helpful tips on preventing the spread of the flu virus and view our symptoms checker. Remember, antivirals are more effective if started within the first 48 hours- seek medical care at the sign of symptoms. For your convenience, our pediatric urgent care centers are available in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach county. 


This video will teach you how to properly care for a gastrostomy tube. The video will review how to clean a gastrostomy tube site, how to give a feedings and what to do if the tube becomes dislodged.