Published online Jun 28, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i24.2555
Peer-review started: March 27, 2018
First decision: April 19, 2018
Revised: May 10, 2018
Accepted: June 2, 2018
Article in press: June 2, 2018
Published online: June 28, 2018
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection remains an important global health problem with chronic infection affecting approximately 11 million children worldwide. The emergence of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapies and the development of non-invasive methods for the determination of liver fibrosis will significantly improve the management of paediatric patients with chronic HCV infection in subsequent years. For paediatric patients, a new era of highly effective DAA agents is beginning, and the first results of available clinical trials are very promising. In this era, the identification and monitoring of patients continues to be an important issue. The availability of non-invasive serological and imaging methods to measure hepatic fibrosis enables the identification of patients with significant or advanced liver fibrosis stages. This article summarizes the current data on the epidemiology and progress of research aimed to evaluate the new therapies and non-invasive methods for liver injury in paediatric patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Core tip: There are more than 11 million hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected children worldwide. Most new HCV-infected cases have occurred through vertical transmission. Currently, a new era of highly effective direct-acting antiviral agents for the treatment of HCV infection has begun for paediatric patients. The first results of clinical trials with interferon-free therapy are very promising. ESPGHAN developed a position paper for the management of chronic HCV infection in children. Non-invasive methods to measure hepatic fibrosis enable the identification of patients with significant liver fibrosis. This article summarizes the current data on epidemiology, new therapies and non-invasive methods in paediatric patients with HCV infection.