Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Universal HCV Screening During Pregnancy

Open Forum Infect Dis; ePub 2018 Feb 17; Boudova, et al

Risk-based hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening in pregnancy is less reliable than universal screening, a recent study found. The retrospective secondary data analysis used electronic medical records (EMR) of pregnant women presenting for antenatal care from January 1 to December 31, 2016. Among women tested for HCV, additional information was gathered on their HCV status, whether they were diagnosed during their pregnancy, and whether they previously had a diagnosed HCV infection. Associations between HCV testing and risk factors were then calculated. Medical records from 1,426 pregnancies were reviewed. Researchers found:

  • On average, women had 6.6 prenatal visits.
  • Of the 1,426 pregnancies, 7.0% were tested for HCV and 5% had risk factors for HCV.
  • However, among women with known HCV risk factors, nearly two-thirds were not screened for HCV.
  • 10% of HCV-positive pregnancies occurred in women with no reported risk factor.


Boudova S, Mark K, El-Kamary SS. Risk-based hepatitis C screening in pregnancy is less reliable than universal screening: A retrospective chart review. [Published online ahead of print February 17, 2018]. Open Forum Infect Dis. doi:10.1093/ofid/ofy043.

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