Methods: In a retrospective cohort study, all HCV infected pregnant women and their infants were reviewed. The study period expanded from June 1993 to May 2016. Medical records were reviewed for maternal characteristics and risk factors that could be associated with inadequate testing and loss to follow-up in infants with perinatal HCV exposure.
Results: During the study period, medical records of 407 mothers and their infants were reviewed. Only 26.5% (108/407) of all infants had adequate testing and follow-up for HCV. Among all infants, history of maternal intravenous drug use (IVDU) was significantly higher in infants with inadequate HCV testing than infants who were adequately tested [88% (193/218) vs. 76% (70/92) respectively; p = 0.005]. Infants who were adequately tested for HCV had a higher percentage of mothers on methadone maintenance therapy during pregnancy than infants who were not adequately tested [53% (35/66) vs. 34% (65/186) respectively; p = 0.010]. Also, infants with mothers who had HCV care were more likely to be adequately tested than infants whose mothers did not have HCV care [54% (56/102) vs. 41% (106/255) respectively; p = 0.022]. HCV transmission rate among infants with adequate testing was 11.1% (12/108).
Conclusion: Infants born to HCV infected mothers continue to have suboptimal testing. Maternal history of IVDU is associated with inadequate testing and loss to follow-up among infants exposed perinatally to HCV. Whereas, maternal methadone maintenance therapy during pregnancy, and maternal HCV medical care are associated with better follow-up. Screening pregnant women with HCV infection for history of IVDU and linking them to drug treatment centers as well as to HCV medical care may improve testing and follow-up in infants with perinatal HCV exposure.
N. Abughali, None