Gastroenterology and nutrition: Edited by Robert WyllieHepatitis C in children: recent advancesZein, Nizar NAuthor Information Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA Correspondence to Nizar N. Zein, MD, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA Tel: +1 216 444 6126; fax: +1 216 445 5477; e-mail: email@example.com Current Opinion in Pediatrics: October 2007 - Volume 19 - Issue 5 - p 570-574 doi: 10.1097/MOP.0b013e3282f04ea8 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Hepatitis C virus infection has recently been recognized as a viral infection with the potential to cause significant complications, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in adults. Changes in our understanding of its natural history in children and recent advances in therapy for acute and chronic hepatitis C are reviewed. Recent findings Recent work has demonstrated that, although uncommon, vertical transmission is the most frequent mode of hepatitis C acquisition in children and is enhanced in the setting of maternal co-infection with HIV. Chronic hepatitis C during childhood leads in some cases to development of advanced hepatic fibrosis, with complications including liver failure and liver cancer, which has changed our general approach to this infection. Perhaps the most significant recent advance in this area is our improved understanding of the safety and efficacy of interferon-based antiviral therapies for children with hepatitis C. Summary Hepatitis C virus infection has reached epidemic proportions worldwide; despite its being less prevalent in children than in adults, it poses a significant clinical problem in this age group. Emerging antiviral therapies are currently in clinical trials for adult patients with hepatitis C with encouraging preliminary results, which should be extended to children. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.