Reactivation of hepatitis B virus infection

Reactivation of Hepatitis B Virus Infection

Hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) reactivation, is an increased activity of an existing Hepatitis B virus infection. It occurs when an individual has been infected with HBV at some point in their life and the virus becomes temporarily inactive in their body. Reactivation of the virus can occur many years after the initial infection, leading to serious liver damage.

In terms of diagnosis, clinical symptoms are the main factor for detecting reactivation of the virus. Detection of viral antigens, such as HBsAg, anti-HBs, and IgM anti-HBc, in the serum examination is also used when the patient presents with symptoms. Additionally, hepatobiliary imaging and other blood exams, such as alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) may help to differentiate reactivation from new infection.

Risk factors for HBV reactivation include immunosuppression, liver transplantation and the intake of immunosuppressive or chemotherapeutic agents. Thus, patients with HBV should be closely monitored and managed with appropriate antiviral therapy.

Prevention and management of HBV reactivation include preventive measures, treatment of underlying conditions, and administration of antiviral drugs. Preventive measures should be taken to minimize the risk of reactivation, such as avoiding immunosuppressant and chemotherapeutic drugs, educating patients on the importance of vaccination, and monitoring patients by screening for Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). In terms of treatment, antiviral therapy can be used to reduce the risk of HBV reactivation, especially in patients who have already developed immunity to HBV.

  • Close surveillance and testing for HBV
  • Avoidance of immunosuppressant and chemotherapeutic drugs
  • Patient education about the importance of vaccination
  • Vaccination for HBV
  • Antiviral therapy