Congenital Hepatitis B in Children

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Overview

"If you have hepatitis B, your baby should receive hepatitis B immune globulin and the HBV vaccine in the first twelve hours after birth."

Sandra Burchett, MD, MSC, Clinical Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston Children's Hospital

 

You’re likely to be confused and overwhelmed—not to mention scared—if your infant has been diagnosed with congenital hepatitis B. But you can play an active role in helping him get better. Developing a basic understanding of the condition is a great first step as you partner with your child’s health care team to form a treatment plan.

  • Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver that is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). 
  • A pregnant woman can pass the virus on to her developing fetus.
  • If a mother is known to have HBV, her newborn baby should receive hepatitis B immune globulin and the HBV vaccine in the first twelve hours after birth.
  • If your baby is infected, she may have lifelong liver problems, such as scarring of the liver and liver cancer.

How Children’s Hospital Boston approaches neonatal hepatitis B

Our Division of Infectious Diseases treats neonatal hepatitis B in infants.

Physicians in the Division of Infectious Diseases care for children and adolescents with a variety of infections.

  • In addition to treating children, we also are dedicated to researching better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent infectious diseases.

How does Children’s treat neonatal hepatitis B?
It’s important to begin treatment immediately after birth to reduce the potential damage to your baby’s liver.

  • If you have hepatitis B, your baby should receive hepatitis B immune globulin and the HBV vaccine in the first twelve hours after birth.

Center for Childhood Liver Disease

Children’s Center for Childhood Liver Disease has a multidisciplinary program that includes hepatology, surgery, interventional radiology, interventional GI endoscopy, and pathology.

Newborn medicine

At Children's Division of Newborn Medicine, we specialize in treating babies with a wide range of congenital and acquired conditions. Your baby will be seen by a specially trained team of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other health professionals who routinely diagnose and treat newborns with critical illnesses.

Essential support services
Read about general information and resources for Children’s patients and their families.

Congenital Hepatitis B: Reviewed by Sandra Burchett, MD, MSc, Clinical Director, Children’s Hospital Boston Division of Infectious Diseases

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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