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8/7/2016 HepatitisATreatment&Management:ApproachConsiderations,SupportiveCare,LiverTransplantation

HepatitisATreatment&Management
Author:RichardKGilroy,MBBS,FRACPChiefEditor:BSAnand,MDmore...

Updated:Jan28,2016

ApproachConsiderations
Treatmentgenerallyinvolvessupportivecare,withspecificcomplicationstreatedas
appropriate.Livertransplantation,inselectedcases,isanoptionifthepatienthas
fulminanthepaticfailure(FHF).

PatientsatriskofdevelopingacutehepatitisAvirus(HAV)infectionshouldundergo
immunizationforthevirus.Inaddition,immunizationofthoseatgreaterriskfor
morbidityfromacuteHAVinfectionisimportant.

AGermanstudyofimmunizationratesinpatientswithautoimmuneliverdisease
identifiedthatseroconversionratesinthispopulationwerelowerhowever,more
importantly,thestudyidentifiedthatvaccinationwasnotofferedtoalarge
proportionofthispopulation. [18]Itisnotdifficulttoidentifyalowriskbenefitratioin
patientswithchronicliverdisease,andtheauthorrecommendsvaccinationforHAV
inallwhohavenocontraindication.

Theadventofnewantiviralagents,suchasdirectactingantivirals(DAAs)andhost
targetingagents(HTAs),hasexpandedthepotentialtherapeuticoptionsavailable
againstHAV. [19]Kandaetalnotedthatamantadineandinterferonlambda1(IL29)
inhibitHAVinternalribosomalentrysite(IRES)mediatedtranslationandHAV
replication,whereasJanuskinase(JAK)inhibitorsinhibitLaproteinexpression,
HAVIRESactivity,andHAVreplication. [19]

Seethefollowingformoreinformation:

AlcoholicHepatitis
AutoimmuneHepatitis
CutaneousManifestationsofHepatitisC
HepatitisA
HepatitisB
HepatitisC
HepatitisD
HepatitisE
HepatitisinPregnancy
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PediatricHepatitisA
PediatricHepatitisB
PediatricHepatitisC
ViralHepatitis

SupportiveCare
ForacutecasesofHAVinfection,therapyisgenerallysupportive,withnospecific
treatmentofacuteuncomplicatedillness.Locatingtheprimarysourceand
preventingfurtheroutbreaksareparamount.Initialtherapyoftenconsistsofbed
rest.Thepatientshouldprobablynotworkduringtheacutephaseoftheillness.

Nauseaandvomitingaretreatedwithantiemetics.Dehydrationmaybemanaged
withhospitaladmissionandintravenous(IV)fluids.Inmostinstances,
hospitalizationisunnecessary.Themajorityofchildrenhaveminimalsymptoms
adultsaremorelikelytorequiremoreintensivecare,includinghospitalization.

About38%ofcasesoffulminanthepaticfailure(FHF)arecausedbyHAV
however,only12%ofHAVinfectionsinadultsleadtoFHF.Referpatientswith
FHFtofacilitieswithexpertiseinlivertransplantation.

Acetaminophenmaybecautiouslyadministeredbutisstrictlylimitedtoamaximum
doseof34g/dayinadults.Othertreatmentsaredirectedbyspecificcomplications.

LiverTransplantation
Patientswithfulminanthepaticfailure(FHF)areconsideredforlivertransplantation.
Recurrentdiseaseafterlivertransplantationhasnotbeenreported.Patient
selectionforlivertransplantationmaybedifficult,inthat60%ofpatientsrecover
fromFHFwithoutneedingthetransplant(muchaswithacetaminophentoxicity),
andpredictingwhoneedsthislifesavingprocedureisdifficult.

Latereferralhasominousimplications,withtheaccompanyingcomorbidities(eg,
renalfailure,coagulopathy,cerebraledema)andwaitingtimescontributingtopoor
outcomes.

LivertransplantationforchronicrelapsingHAVinfectionhasoccurredinthecontext
ofdecompensationwithgoodresultshowever,thereisareportofclinical
recurrenceafterlivertransplantation.

PostexposureProphylaxis
PassiveimmunizationwithGammagardreducesinfectionwhenadministeredwithin
14daysofexposure(ie,postexposureprophylaxis).Recommendationsforproviding
postexposureprophylaxisaredevelopedonthebasisofrisk.

Postexposureprophylaxisisrecommendedfornonimmunizedclosecontactsof
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8/7/2016 HepatitisATreatment&Management:ApproachConsiderations,SupportiveCare,LiverTransplantation
thoserecentlydiagnosedwithacuteHAVinfection.Theappropriatepublichealth
authorityshouldbenotifiedafteradiagnosisofHAVinfection,andtheprocessof
contacttracingshouldbeinitiated.IntheUnitedStates,asmanyas10%ofcases
ofacuteHAVinfectionareseenincommercialfoodhandlers.Inanysuspected
foodhandlertransmission,itisimperativethathealthdepartmentofficialsbe
notifiedimmediately.

Inmanyinstances,preexposureprophylaxishasbeensomewhatreplacedby
immunization(seeImmunization).Fortravelers,costbenefitanalysissuggeststhat
vaccinationispreferredovergammaglobulinwhenanextendedstayintheareaof
risk(ie,highendemicity)islongerthan3monthsorwhenrepeattraveltothearea
(ie,>2visitsoutsidea3moperiod)islikely.

Immunization
VaccinationishighlyeffectiveatpreventingHAVdisease.Theefficacyofthe
hepatitisAvaccinerangesfrom80%to100%after12dosescomparedtoplacebo.
Currentdosingrecommendationsareavailable(seeMedication).

Immunizationisindicatedforindividualstravelingtoareasofhighendemicitywho
havelessthan2weeksbeforedeparture.Boththevaccinationandintramuscular
(IM)immunoglobulinshouldbeadministeredtoprovidelongtermimmunity,
particularlyinpersonswhointendtotraveltotheseareasrepeatedly.

PeoplewithchronicliverdiseaseofanycauseshouldconsiderhepatitisA
vaccination.Responseratesinpatientswithadvancedliverdiseaseandinthoseon
immunosuppressivetherapiesarelikelytobelower.Thepotentiallydisastrous
outcomeofacuteHAVinfectioninthisgroupcannotbeoveremphasized.

HepatitisAvaccinationinsomelowriskgroupswhoarepotentialsourcesoflarger
outbreaksofinfection(eg,foodhandlers)hasbeenimplementedbysome
employers,althoughcostbenefitanalysisfortheemployerdoesnotseemto
supportsuchmeasures.

EpidemiologicstudiesofcurrentandhistoricalinformationrelatedtohepatitisA
infectionpatternsandriskfactorsshowstrongassociationsbetweensocioeconomic
improvement,increasedwaterandsanitation,anddecreasingHAVinfectionrates.
[20,21]

AreasinwhichatransitionofepidemichepatitisA(childhoodacquisitionveryhigh)
toendemichepatitisAisoccurringwilllikelyleadtoanincreaseinadultacquired
infectionsandthemorbidityassociatedwiththisintheabsenceofvaccination
programs.

Anexcellentillustrationofwhythisislikelyisthatthemostprevalentriskfactorfor
HAVacquisitionintheUnitedStatesisinternationaltravel. [22]Thisstudyalsolends
furthersupporttotheimportanceofvaccinationforinternationaltravelers.Hepatitis
Aisthemostfrequentvaccinepreventablediseaseintravelers,andithasthe

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highestmortalityandmorbidityratesforanyvaccinepreventableinfectionin
travelers. [23,24,25]

TheglobalburdenofacutecasesofhepatitisAischangingandcertainlyis
decreasinginWesternsocieties. [20]IntheUnitedStates,vaccinationprograms
targetingchildrenduringurbanoutbreakshavedemonstratedsignificantbenefits. [26,
27]Immunizationprogramsappliedtohighriskgroupsshowmorbidityandcost
benefits.Approximately20%ofindividualswithacuteHAVinfectionmayrequire
hospitalization.

A2012Cochranereviewof9studiesincluding732,380participantsreaffirmedthe
benefitofpreexposurevaccination.Datafromthereviewshowthatboththe
inactivatedandliveattenuatedvaccineswereeffectiveforpreexposureprophylaxis
andthateithervaccineprovidedapproximatelya10foldreductioninacute
infectionswhencomparedtoplacebo.Aninterestingsubgroupanalysisofquality
studiesshowedthatifinfectionsweretooccurtheyoccurredinthefirstyear.In
addition,preexposureprophylaxiswascosteffectiveandsharedcomparableriskof
nonseriouslocalandsystemicadverseeventsinthosereceivingtheinactive
vaccinecomparedtothosereceivingtheplacebo.However,therewereinsufficient
dataonthesafetyoftheliveattenuatedvaccinetorenderconclusionsonsafety
andefficacyovertime. [28]

Globalimmunizationappearstobeprohibitivelyexpensive.ThehepatitisAvaccine
isnotyetlicensedforuseinpersonsyoungerthan2years.

DietandActivity
Encouragepatientstohaveanadequatediet.Patientsshouldavoidalcoholand
medicationsthatmayaccumulateinliverdisease.Otherwise,nospecificdietary
restrictionsarenecessary.

Bedrestduringtheacuteillnessmaybeimportant,althoughdatatosupportthis
practicearelacking.Restrictingtransmissionisimportant,especiallyintheearly
phasesoftheillness.Returningtoworkshouldprobablybedelayedfor10days
aftertheonsetofjaundice.

Prevention
Controlatthesource,withtreatmentofcontactstopreventfurthercasesofdisease
istheprimarygoal.Longtermsecondarygoalsincludeimmunization,which
increasesherdimmunityandreducesthelikelihoodoffurtheroutbreaksinhighrisk
communities.Educationabouttransmissionandpreventionoftransmission(eg,
handwashing,safefoodsources)isalsoimportant.

Medication

ContributorInformationandDisclosures
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8/7/2016 HepatitisATreatment&Management:ApproachConsiderations,SupportiveCare,LiverTransplantation

Author
RichardKGilroy,MBBS,FRACPAssociateProfessor,MedicalDirectorofLiverTransplantationand
Hepatology,DepartmentofInternalMedicine,KansasUniversityMedicalCenter

Disclosure:Receivedsalaryfromgilead,NPSpharmaceuticals,salixpharmaceuticals,AbbVieforspeakingand
teaching.

SpecialtyEditorBoard
FranciscoTalavera,PharmD,PhDAdjunctAssistantProfessor,UniversityofNebraskaMedicalCenterCollege
ofPharmacyEditorinChief,MedscapeDrugReference

Disclosure:ReceivedsalaryfromMedscapeforemployment.for:Medscape.

ChiefEditor
BSAnand,MDProfessor,DepartmentofInternalMedicine,DivisionofGastroenterology,BaylorCollegeof
Medicine

BSAnand,MDisamemberofthefollowingmedicalsocieties:AmericanAssociationfortheStudyofLiver
Diseases,AmericanCollegeofGastroenterology,AmericanGastroenterologicalAssociation,AmericanSociety
forGastrointestinalEndoscopy

Disclosure:Nothingtodisclose.

AdditionalContributors
GeorgeYWu,MD,PhDProfessor,DepartmentofMedicine,Director,HepatologySection,HermanLopata
ChairinHepatitisResearch,UniversityofConnecticutSchoolofMedicine

GeorgeYWu,MD,PhDisamemberofthefollowingmedicalsocieties:AmericanAssociationfortheStudyof
LiverDiseases,AmericanGastroenterologicalAssociation,AmericanMedicalAssociation,AmericanSocietyfor
ClinicalInvestigation,AssociationofAmericanPhysicians

Disclosure:ReceivedconsultingfeefromSpringerforconsultingReceivedconsultingfeefromGileadforreview
panelmembershipReceivedhonorariafromVertexforspeakingandteachingReceivedhonorariafromBristol
MyersSquibbforspeakingandteachingReceivedroyaltyfromSpringerforreviewpanelmembershipReceived
honorariafromMerckforspeakingandteaching.

Acknowledgements
SandeepMukherjee,MB,BCh,MPH,FRCPCAssociateProfessor,DepartmentofInternalMedicine,Section
ofGastroenterologyandHepatology,UniversityofNebraskaMedicalCenterConsultingStaff,Sectionof
GastroenterologyandHepatology,VeteranAffairsMedicalCenter

SandeepMukherjee,MB,BCh,MPH,FRCPCisamemberofthefollowingmedicalsocieties:RoyalCollegeof
PhysiciansandSurgeonsofCanada

Disclosure:MerckHonorariaSpeakingandteachingIkariaPharmaceuticalsHonorariaBoardmembership

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