Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is an epidemiologically important virus with a worldwide distribution and causes acute hepatitis in humans. Acute HAV superinfection causes severe liver disease, acute liver failure and even higher mortality rates in patients with underlying chronic liver disease (CLD). Numerous studies have identified CLD as a risk factor for fulminant hepatitis and death from acute HAV infection.
A research article to be published on January 14, 2011 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. In this study, the authors investigated the current seroprevalence of HAV antibodies (anti-HAV) in patients with chronic viral liver disease in South Korea. They also tried to determine the age-specific seroprevalence in these patients to assess whether vaccination against HAV is necessary in all patients who have underlying viral liver diseases, and to determine the factors that affect IgG anti-HAV seropositivity.
This study showed that the overall prevalence of IgG anti-HAV in Korean patients with chronic viral liver disease was 86.61%, and most patients who are above 40 years of age have already been exposed to HAV. Therefore, vaccination against HAV should be considered, particularly for young anti-HAV-negative patients with chronic liver disease.
Reference: Cho HC, Paik SW, Kim YJ, Choi MS, Lee JH, Koh KC, Yoo BC, Son HJ, Kim SW. Seroprevalence of anti-HAV among patients with chronic viral liver disease. World J Gastroenterol 2011; 17(2): 236-241
Correspondence to: Seung Woon Paik, MD, Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 50, Irwon-dong, Gangnamgu, Seoul 135-710, South Korea. [email protected]
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About World Journal of Gastroenterology
World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2009 IF: 2.092. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.