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Revista de Gastroenterología del Perú

Print version ISSN 1022-5129


ESPINOZA-HOLGUIN, Maurin et al. Hepatitis B en niños con cáncer. Rev. gastroenterol. Perú [online]. 2006, vol.26, n.3, pp.259-264. ISSN 1022-5129.

Cancer patients can be asymptomatic carriers of the hepatitis B virus (HBV), which can be reactivated by chemotherapy. Our aim was to identify the serological markers of HBV in children with cancer who were asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Fifty two (52) children with cancer treated at the Maracaibo University Hospital in Venezuela were studied, 28 of these children (53.8%) were HBV positive, despite no clinical or biochemical signs or symptoms of hepatitis. The type of serological markers present in each of these children.were investigated We found 7 cases (25%) with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and 2 (7.1%) with anticore as the only markers. Multiple markers were found in the other children: 9 (32.1%) HBsAg and anticore; 7 (25%) HBsAg, e-antigen (HBeAg) and anticore; 3 (10.7%) HBsAg, HBeAg antibody and anticore. In total, of the 28 positive children 20 (71.4%) showed positive anticore and of these 4 (20%) were of the IgM type. Our results show a high level of positivity for HBV in the children with cancer studied. In spite of being asymptomatic carriers of the HBV, it is noticeable the presence of serological markers for acute disease. We recommend testing for HBV serological markers before starting chemotherapy. Should the test results be negative, vaccination is indicated and should they be positive, specialized care is indicated.

Keywords : Hepatitis B virus; children; cancer; serological markers.

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