Assessment of a large cohort of hepatitis C virus (HCV)–infected patients revealed a high prevalence of current or past hepatitis B virus. However, within this cohort, there were notable gaps in HBV testing, directed care, and vaccination, according to Aaron M. Harris, MD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Harris and his colleagues abstracted patient-level data from the Grady Health System EHR in August 2016 to create an HCV patient registry. They found that, among 4,224 HCV-infected patients, 3,629 (86%) had test results for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), with 43 (1.2%) being HBsAg positive.
“Our results identified a gap in care as a minority of HBsAg-positive patients with HCV coinfection received HBV DNA and/or e-antigen [HBeAg] testing,” the researchers stated.
Overall, only 2,342 (55.4%) patients had test results for all three HBV serologic markers. Among these, 789 (33.7%) were anti-HBc positive only, 678 (28.9%) were anti-HBc/anti-HBs positive, 190 (8.1%) were anti-HBs positive only, and 642 (27.4%) were HBV susceptible. In addition, only 50% of the HBV-susceptible patients received at least one dose of hepatitis B vaccine, according to the report published in.
“Strategies are needed to increase hepatitis B testing, linkage to hepatitis B–directed care of HBV/HCV-coinfected patients, and to increase uptake in hepatitis B vaccination for HCV-infected patients within the Grady Health System,” the researchers concluded.
The study was funded by the CDC and the authors reported that they had no conflicts.
SOURCE: Harris AM et al. .