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Volume 52, Number 1, February 2019

Risk-stratified management strategies for HBV reactivation in RA patients receiving biological and targeted therapy: A narrative review 

Yi-Ming Chen, Sheng-Shun Yang, Der-Yuan Chen


Background and purpose: 

It is estimated that more than two billion people around the world have been infected by Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Reactivation of HBV (rHBV) is a potentially fatal complication after biological therapy. With the increasing use of biologics and targeted therapy in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who are refractory to conventional synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, rHBV in those with past infection has become increasingly problematic, especially in HBV-endemic regions. Among those receiving biological therapy, the risk of rHBV varies according to the status of HBV infection and the degree of biologic-related immunosuppression. As rHBV is largely preventable, it is imperative that the risk status of rHBV in RA patients receiving biological and targeted therapy be stratified. Therefore, the aim of this review was to summarize the reported data on rHBV, and propose management strategies for RA patients with different risks of rHBV based on evidence presented in the current literature 


Key words:

BiologicsTargeted therapyHepatitis BHBV reactivationRheumatoid arthritis