Ian PUN, MD, Family Physician, Scarborough, Ontario with help from Anthony Vu, 4th Year student, University of Toronto undergraduate life science, Rob Myers, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Hepatologist, and Director of the Viral Hepatitis Clinic at the University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
It is estimated that there are 350 million world wide carriers of the hepatitis B virus, mostly coming from Asia (Lai et al., 2005). With immigration of Chinese into Western countries, hepatitis B is now becoming established in countries where it was previously uncommon. Chronic hepatitis B infection is a prevalent disease especially in the Toronto and Vancouver areas where most Asians live. Fortunately, over the past decade effective anti-viral treatments have become available. Chronic hepatitis B is mostly an asymptomatic disease, therefore, serological and imaging tests should be used to identify, follow and treat those considered high risk.
Key Words: HBV DNA (hepatitis B DNA), cirrhosis, anti-viral tenofovir, FibroScan.