Perinatal Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus: Defining the Cascade of Care.

Research paper by Rachel L RL Epstein, Vishakha V Sabharwal, Elisha M EM Wachman, Kelley A KA Saia, Claudia C Vellozzi, Susan S Hariri, Benjamin P BP Linas

Indexed on: 02 Sep '18Published on: 02 Sep '18Published in: The Journal of Pediatrics


The US National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan calls for major efforts to expand hepatitis C virus (HCV) diagnosis and treatment; prenatal care settings are potential venues for expanding HCV testing. We aimed to characterize the HCV diagnostic cascade for women and infants and investigate factors associated with linkage and follow-up. We used electronic health records for a 10-year cohort of 879 women with opioid use disorder from an obstetric clinic serving women with substance use disorders. Altogether, 744 women (85%) were screened for HCV; 510 (68%) were seropositive, of whom 369 (72%) had nucleic acid testing performed and of these 261 (71%) were viremic. Of 404 infants born to HCV-seropositive women, 273 (68%) were tested at least once for HCV, 180 (45%) completed the American Academy of Pediatrics-recommended perinatal HCV screening, and 5 (2.8%) were diagnosed with HCV infection and linked to care. More recent delivery date (2014-2015) was associated with maternal linkage to care (aOR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.4-4.7). Maternal coinfection with HIV (aOR, 9.0; 95% CI, 1.1-72.8) and methadone maintenance therapy, compared with buprenorphine (aOR, 1.5; 95% CI, 0.9-2.5), were associated with higher rates of infant HCV testing. HCV prevalence among pregnant women with opioid use is high and infant HCV screening is imperfect. Programmatic changes to improve both mother and infant follow-up may help to bridge identified gaps in the cascade to cure. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.