Background and Aims One third of the world population has been infected by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), causing an enormous worldwide burden of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. We make revue of clinical characteristics of acute hepatitis B infection in children in Montenegro.
Methods 180 children suffering from acute virus hepatitis were examined on Clinic for infectious diseases in Podgorica during the period 2006–2012. We used epidemiological and clinical data and blood tests for hepatitis viruses, Epstein-Barr virus, CMV and adenoviruses. Research sample is consisted of 18 children, which are old from 7–15 years with clinical, laboratory and virology verification of acute hepatitis B.
Results Epidemiological data have indicated the infection trough blood or blood products in 14 children and in 4 the way of infection remained unknown. HBsAg and antiHBc IgM were positive, values of alanine aminotransferase were elevated and PCR HBV DNK was higher than 200000 U/l in all children. The most frequent symptoms were the loss of appetite (88%) and fatigue (70%). Fever was registered in 30% of children, while the diarrhea is reported in 25%, hepatomegaly in 86%, enlarged spleen in 20% and icterus in 60% of cases. Patients without symptoms were present in 12% of cases. Three children after a follow-up longer than one year developed chronic infection.
Conclusions Even though immunisation for hepatitis B virus is mandatory since 2002 in Montenegro, the acute hepatitis B isn′t rare infection. Children are at the greatest risk for developing potentially fatal complications of the infection.