There are limited data on the natural history of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Asian American children. The aim of the present study was to describe a single-center experience of chronic HBV infection in Chinese American patients in New York City.
A retrospective chart review was conducted for patients with chronic HBV infection who had pediatric visits from 2006 to 2017. Clinical and laboratory data were collected to characterize the status of HBV infection and its disease course both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Available maternal charts were reviewed.
Of the total 353 patients, 72 patients (20%) were US-born. Positive hepatitis B envelope antigen (HBeAg) was documented in 208 patients (58%). Three phases of chronic HBV infection were categorized for 329 patients: immune-tolerant 112 (34%), HBeAg-positive immune-active 47 (14%), and inactive carrier 82 (25%). The remaining 88 patients (27%) did not fit into a particular category with 26 of 88 patients meeting the criteria for inactive carrier except for mildly elevated alanine aminotransferase. Age and liver enzyme levels were significantly different between HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative groups (P < 0.05). Among 179 patients followed for ≥5 years, the spontaneous seroconversion rate was 38%. In eight patients with linked maternal data, all children completed the HBV vaccine series and seven of eight received hepatitis B immunoglobulin. All mothers were HBeAg-positive with high HBV DNA and had no anti-viral therapy during pregnancy.
Both immune-tolerant and inactive carrier phases were common for chronic HBV infection with a spontaneous seroconversion rate of 38%. All US-born patients were born in the era of implemented universal immune-prophylaxis.