Gaps in Prenatal Hepatitis B Screening and Management of HBsAg Positive Pregnant Persons in the U.S., 2015-2020

Thi T Hang Pham, Nimisha Maria, Vivian Cheng, Brandon Nguyen, Mehlika Toy, David Hutton, Erin E Conners, Noele P Nelson, Joshua A Salomon, Samuel So*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends testing all pregnant women for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and testing HBsAg-positive pregnant women for hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid (HBV DNA). HBsAg-positive pregnant persons are recommended by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases to receive regular monitoring, including alanine transaminase (ALT) and HBV DNA and antiviral therapy for active hepatitis and to prevent perinatal HBV transmission if HBV DNA level is >200,000 IU/mL.


Using Optum Clinformatics Data Mart Database claims data, pregnant women who received HBsAg testing and HBsAg-positive pregnant persons who received HBV DNA and alt testing and antiviral therapy during pregnancy and after delivery during January 1, 2015-December 31, 2020 were analyzed.


Among 506,794 pregnancies, 14.6% did not receive HBsAg testing. Pregnant women more likely to receive testing for HBsAg (p<0.01) were persons aged ≥20 years, were Asian, had >1 child, or received education beyond high school. Among the 0.28% (1,437) pregnant women who tested positive for hepatitis B surface antigen, 46% were Asian. The proportion of HBsAg-positive pregnant women who received HBV DNA testing during pregnancy and in the 12 months after delivery was 44.3% and 28.6%, respectively; the proportion that received hepatitis B e antigen was 31.6% and 12.7%, respectively; the proportion that received ALT testing was 67.4% and 47%, respectively; and the proportion that received HBV antiviral therapy was 7% and 6.2%, respectively.


This study suggests that as many as half a million (∼14%) pregnant persons who gave birth each year were not tested for HBsAg to prevent perinatal transmission. More than 50% of HBsAg-positive persons did not receive the recommended HBV-directed monitoring tests during pregnancy and after delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

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