Given the need to immunize patients at higher risk rapidly,
this is a strategy that might be considered. Higher dose vaccination may enhance the anti-HBs response . Patients who are anti-HBc positive, but negative for anti-HBs, anti-HBV envelope selleck chemicals llc (anti-HBe) and HBsAg, may either have had previous exposure to HBV and be protected, or have had a false-positive anti-HBc test result and be vulnerable . These patients will need HBV vaccination . Patients coinfected with HBV and/or HCV are also vulnerable to acute HAV infection, which may lead to decompensation of underlying liver disease [24,25]. For a fuller discourse and further details on viral hepatitis vaccination and post-exposure prophylaxis in HIV-positive patients, please refer to the BHIVA immunization guidelines 2008 . All newly diagnosed HIV-infected patients should have an anti-HBc test and additionally an anti-HBs test if they have previously been immunized. If negative for both they should receive a course of vaccination (I). The initial evaluation of all patients with chronic viral hepatitis should include a history and clinical examination . The history should
include questions about IDU (current and remote), past immunization for hepatitis Selleckchem APO866 A/B, episodes of jaundice, travel abroad and potential risk activity there (blood transfusion, IDU and sexual), alcohol use (current and past), family history of HBV infection, liver disease or HCC, and previous investigation for hepatitis [26,27]. A clinical examination for evidence of chronic liver disease (peripheral stigmata, splenomegaly and ascites) should be performed. Blood tests should include a full biochemical profile including bilirubin, albumin, aminotransferases, prothrombin time, alpha fetoprotein and full blood count. A baseline battery of tests to look for alternative causes of
chronic liver disease should also be performed. This should include serum ferritin, autoantibodies, serum ceruloplasmin, serum angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), and alpha 1 anti-trypsin levels. A scan of the liver should be performed using imaging with ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). RVX-208 Liver biopsy remains the silver standard for the staging of liver disease . However, because of sampling error, liver biopsy can overestimate or underestimate the degree of liver fibrosis. Increasingly, some physicians are commencing therapy in individuals without performing liver biopsy . Liver biopsy is an important diagnostic tool in the work-up of patients with liver disease. In those individuals with HIV, who may have other co-factors contributing to liver damage and fibrosis, it remains a useful tool and should always be considered and discussed.