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When rheumatology meets hepatology: are anti-TNFs safe in hepatitis B virus carriers?

By Tim L Jansen


Over the past decades, more effective and less toxic biologicals have revolutionized rheumatology therapy in our battle against the autoimmune chronic inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthropathy. But what about for patients who have previously had an infection of the liver? Prior hepatitis B virus infection clearly presents a challenge for clinicians. In a study by Charpin and colleagues of 21 patients whose hepatitis B virus serology suggested carrier status, anti-TNF treatment appeared to be safe during a limited follow-up period of 3 years. Studies are needed with longer follow-up, particularly in patients with low antibody titres (antiHBc). In the 3-year period, however, about 30% of the patients developed significant lowering of antibody titres, which may become relevant during long-term follow-up. Charpin and colleagues are the first to reveal promising data on the relative safety of anti-TNFs in a small series of hepatitis B carriers for up to 3 years

Topics: Editorial
Publisher: BioMed Central
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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