— Christine M. Kukka, Project Manager, HBV Advocate
Doctors have found signs of kidney problems in hepatitis B patients treated with antivirals, which reduce the ability of HBV to replicate, and have suspected that renal (kidney) function could be affected by the medication.
However, a new study, published in the February issue of the journal Liver International, found that kidney problems were quite prevalent—affecting 64.6% of 268 untreated hepatitis B patients, many of whom had inactive infection.
The doctors, based in France, followed the patients (58% male, average age 47) over two years. Among them, 59.6% were “inactive” carriers.
“Renal (kidney) abnormalities are highly prevalent in our population and pre-exist before the initiation of any anti-hepatitis B virus treatment,” they wrote. This emphasizes the need for:
- A baseline renal evaluation in all patients
- And regular kidney function monitoring before and during treatment to diagnose and manage any kidney impairment and adjust medication doses as needed.