Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Acute Hepatitis B in an Urban Tertiary Care Hospital in the United States: A Cohort Evaluation

Sharif, Omar MD; Krishnan, Prashant V. MD; Thekdi, Ashish D. MD; Gordon, Stuart C. MD

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: October 2013 - Volume 47 - Issue 9 - p e87–e90
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31828a383c
ONLINE ARTICLE: Original Articles

Background: The incidence of acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in the United States is declining, and precise epidemiology for newly acquired infection remains obscure.

Goals: We sought to clarify the clinical presentation and management of acute symptomatic HBV infection at a hepatology referral center.

Study: We prospectively evaluated the demographic, epidemiological, clinical, and treatment data of 32 patients with acute symptomatic HBV who were referred to a single urban tertiary care hospital in the United States.

Results: Slightly more than half of the patients were male (53%) or belonged to the black race (53%) and slightly fewer than half of the patients (47%) were unemployed. The median patient age was 41.9 years, and 20 (63%) patients were unmarried. The most common HBV risk factor was a new sexual partner over the previous months (34%). Fifteen percent of the patients reported no known risk factors. Four (13%) patients were diabetic. Presenting symptoms included jaundice (75%), abdominal pain (63%), and marked fatigue (59%). The mean peak for aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase was 1822/2109 IU/L, for total bilirubin was 12.6 mg/dL, and for International Normalized Ratio was 1.53. Eight patients (25%) were started on oral nucleot(s)ide therapy. One diabetic patient underwent liver transplantation.

Conclusions: In a sample of patients from a US urban tertiary hepatology center, common epidemiological features of acute symptomatic hepatitis B were being middle aged and unmarried and having acquired the infection through a new sexual contact. Antiviral therapy was sometimes but not commonly started. These data reinforce the need for HBV vaccination of individuals at risk, including those not traditionally targeted.

Department of Gastroenterology K-7, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Henry Ford Health Medical Center, Detroit, MI

S.C.G. received research funding and consulting fees from Gilead Sciences and Bristol Myers Squibb. The remaining authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Reprints: Stuart C. Gordon, MD, Department of Gastroenterology K-7, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Henry Ford Medical Center, 2799 W. Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48202 (e-mail:

Received August 30, 2012

Accepted January 28, 2013

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins