Yesterday, ACOG released updated information and recommendations in “Viral Hepatitis in Pregnancy.” ACOG recommends routine, universal hepatitis B and hepatitis C screening early in each pregnancy and vaccination for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or both during pregnancy for recommended groups. Hepatitis C is not vaccine preventable, and direct-acting antiviral treatment is not yet approved during pregnancy, highlighting the importance of prepregnancy and postpartum screening and therapy. While HBsAg screening continues to be recommended in pregnancy, there is a new recommendation for hepatitis B triple panel screening (HBsAg, anti-HBs, and total anti-HBc) for pregnant patients who have not previously undergone this test in adulthood. The guidance also provides detailed information about how to prevent vertical transmission of hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Access the new guidance.
Hepatitis C infections continue to increase in the United States, including among pregnant individuals, according to CDC data. Recognizing the critical role clinicians play in reducing infection rates, ACOG is leading a call to action aimed at improving hepatitis C screening rates in pregnancy. Five health professional organizations joined ACOG in committing to a list of roles and responsibilities for hepatitis C screening, treatment, and counseling.