Published online Mar 27, 2015. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v7.i3.344
Peer-review started: September 9, 2014
First decision: October 14, 2014
Revised: November 25, 2014
Accepted: December 16, 2014
Article in press: December 16, 2014
Published online: March 27, 2015
Core tip: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection represents a major issue in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) undergoing biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs). While several observational studies and trials deal with the risk of HBV reactivation under anti-TNF agents, there is limited experience with newer drugs as tocilizumab (TCZ) and abatacept (ABA). In this paper, literature concerning the risk of HBV reactivation in RA patients undergoing different classes of bDMARDs, including ABA and TCZ, has been revised. Finally, some evidence-based practical suggestions for the management of this condition are proposed.