The aim of this study was to assess the long-term evolution of  chronic hepatitis B acquired in childhood.

 The study was carried out in 2007 - 2008 on a group of 77 adult patients who were diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B in childhood. The actual assessment included epidemiological, clinical, biological and virological data, ultrasound examination in all patients and liver histology in 3 patients.

Results: From the 77 patients, 69 were HBeAg positive and the other 8 patients were anti-HBe positive when the diagnosis was made in their childhood. Thirty-seven patients from the HBeAg positive group and 2 patients from the anti-HBe group had been treated in childhood with IFN-α and the other 38 patients remained untreated (32 patients with HBeAg positive and 6 patients anti-HBe positive). Overall, 78.26% seroconverted to anti-HBe (87.50% untreated and 70.27%  of patients treated with IFN). After a median follow-up period of 13 years, 36 patients from the HBeAg positive group (48.65% of treated patients and 56.25% of untreated ones) became inactive carriers. Seroconversion to anti-HBs, in the HBeAg positive group, occurred in 10.14% of cases (8.1% in treated patients) without  statistical significance. Three patients from the whole group developed cirrhosis  but none developed hepatocellular carcinoma.

 The long-term outcome in our patients with CHB acquired in childhood did not differ between treated and untreated patients.


Chronic hepatitis B, children, viral load, HBe seroconversion, interferon therapy