ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an RNA virus that affects >180 million individuals worldwide with a high propensity for chronic infection. Children with HCV infection differ from adults in several ways including some modes of transmission, rates of clearance, progression of fibrosis, and the duration of potential chronic infection when acquired at birth. Since the discovery of HCV in 1989, there have been significant advances in the understanding of the virology and natural history of chronic HCV infection in children. In addition, there are now several treatment options for children with chronic hepatitis C infection and many new therapies on the horizon. As a consequence, the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition brought together experts in pediatric hepatology to review the available data in children and provide clinicians with approaches to the diagnosis, management, and prevention of HCV infection in children and adolescents. The guideline details the epidemiology and natural history of HCV infection in children, the diagnostic workup, monitoring and treatment of disease, and provides an update on future treatment options and areas of research.
*Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, Digestive Health Institute, Pediatric Liver Center, University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO
†Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, University of Florida College of Medicine and Shands Hospital for Children, Gainesville, FL
‡Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Emory University School of Medicine and Transplant Services, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
§Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
||Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
¶Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, University of California, San Francisco, CA
#Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Pediatric Liver Center, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Baltimore, MD.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Cara L. Mack, MD, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO 80045 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Received 5 March, 2012
Accepted 7 March, 2012
The authors report no conflicts of interest.