Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hepatitis B Virus & Renal Disease

Hepatitis B--a disease which in the U.S. is on the decline due to regular childhood vaccinations--has a variety of interesting associations with renal disease.

There are three distinct glomerular diseases with which the hepatitis B virus is associated. Hepatitis B can cause secondary membranous nephropathy, as well as MPGN (from cryoglobulinemia) and also has an association with polyarteritis nodosa (PAN).

In addition, in the early 90s a variety of outbreaks of hepatitis B infection in dialysis patients was noted in a number of dialysis centers across the U.S. This has led to our current policy of using separate hemofilters for patients with hepatitis B seropositivity when they get dialyzed.

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