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Arquivos de Medicina

versão On-line ISSN 2183-2447


LOURENCO, Cátia et al. Hepatitis C and pregnancy: a review of the literature. Arq Med [online]. 2011, vol.25, n.1, pp.38-45. ISSN 2183-2447.

Chronic hepatitis C is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. perinatal transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the major mechanism of infection in childhood. pregnancy does not appear to affect the clinical course of acute or chronic hepatitis C. Active chronic hepatitis C is associated with an increase in the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes; there isn’t a consistent association between carrier status (inactive chronic hepatitis C) and adverse obstetrics outcomes. The diagnosis of perinatal transmission in the newborn is established by a positive serum HCV RNA on two different occasions 2-3 months apart and after the infant is at least three months old and/or by the detection of anti-HCV antibodies after the infant is 18 months old. perinatal transmission is about 1-3% if no RNA is detected in the pregnant woman and 4-6% if it is detected. HIV co-infection increases the risk, but HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy) diminishes it. The use of scalp electrodes also increases that risk; data are conflicting in what concerns prolonged rupture of the membranes (for more than six hours). Cesarean section and breastfeeding (if nipple integrity is present) don’t alter the risk of perinatal transmission. Despite an increased understanding of the risk factors involved in perinatal transmission of HCV, to date there are no specific measures to reduce that risk.

Palavras-chave : hepatitis c; pregnancy; perinatal transmission.

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