Issue: 2019 > January > original article

Introduction of routine hepatitis B screening for all patients receiving cancer treatment

K. Leber, J.M.M.B. Otten, A.C.T.M. Depla, D.P.M. Brandjes, F.N. Lauw
AbstractFull textPDF


Background: Patients with a chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection or patients who have recovered from an HBV infection are at risk for HBV reactivation (HBVr), especially if they need treatment with chemotherapy. International guidelines recommend routine HBV screening for all patients starting with chemotherapy. This study evaluates the implementation of a routine HBV
screening protocol.
Methods: A retrospective study was performed between January 2015 and October 2016 at the Medical Centre Slotervaart Amsterdam. All patients with a solid or hematological malignancy starting intravenous chemotherapy were included. In September 2015, a protocol for routine HBV screening was introduced. HBV screening results were evaluated before and after implementation of the screening protocol.
Results: In total, 184 patients were included, of which 129 patients were actually screened; 37 of the 70 (53%) patients were screened in the group before implementation of the protocol and 92 of the 114 (81%) after implementation. Before routine HBV screening, 8/37 (21.6%) patients tested anti-HBc positive; after introduction of routine screening, 13/92 (14.1%) patients tested anti-HBc positive. After implementation of the screening protocol, no HBVr occurred.
Conclusion: Implementation of routine HBV screening in patients starting chemotherapy increases identification of the number of patients identified as at risk for HBVr and contributes to prevention of HBVr. A high prevalence of anti-HBc positive patients was found during routine HBV screening, indicating the importance of screening. Awareness and implementation of routine HBV screening, together with knowledge of existing guidelines is necessary to increase the HBV screening rate in patients treated with