Curbside Consultation of the Liver: 49 Clinical Questions

Mitchell L. Shiffman, MD

Question 13: How Do I Treat A Patient Who Is Coinfected With Chronic Hepatitis B And C Viruses? (continued)

Mitchell L. Shiffman, MD

Both the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are transmitted via percutaneous exposure and, as a result, it is not surprising that some patients acquire both viruses either simultaneously or sequentially. In general, HBV is far easier to transmit than HCV. This is because the serum level of HBV is on the order of 10-fold to 100-fold greater than HCV and that HBV is also found in high concentrations in many other body fluids. As a result, HBV can be transmitted vertically from mother to infant and also sexually through intimate contact. In contrast, the concentration of HCV in…