Miller, Maolynne E. ; Pierre, Russell B. ; Plummer, M. H. ; Shah, Dipak J.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Child Health
Hepatitis B-associated nephrotic syndrome in Jamaican children
Annals of Tropical Paediatrics
Date of Publication
Between December 1984 and November 1996, 171 children under 12 years old presented to the University Hospital of the West Indies with nephrotic syndrome. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) was found in ten (6%) of these children, eight of whom had membranous nephropathy (MN), and one each had mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis (MesN) and minimal change nephrotic syndrome (MCNS). Only those children with MesN and MCNS were steroid-sensitive. The HBsAg-positive status was identified incidentally on screening. At a mean follow-up of 34 months, seven of ten children had experienced complete or partial remission and three had persistent nephrotic syndrome, although none was in renal failure. Six of the ten had biochemical hepatitis. All the children were still HBsAg-positive. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a factor contributory to nephrotic syndrome in Jamaican children. As diagnostic clinical markers for HBV-associated nephropathy are usually absent, all children presenting with nephrotic syndrome should be screened for HBsAg. A policy should be implemented in Jamaica for screening pregnant women and at-risk groups for HBsAg, as well as for immunising susceptible neonates, in order to reduce the incidence of HBV-associated pathology.....