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Alan Franciscus
HCV Advocate

Monday, April 1, 2013

Screen all psoriasis patients for hepatitis before immunosuppressive therapy

Routine screening for hepatitis B and C has become a must prior to initiation of chronic immunosuppressive therapy for psoriasis.

"Universal screening for hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection is not optional in 2013," he stressed at the Hawaii Dermatology Seminar sponsored by Global Academy for Medical Education/Skin Disease Education Foundation.

That said, professional society guidelines are at odds and in flux on this issue. The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the European Association for the Study of the Liver, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all recommend routine screening for hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis B core antibody prior to initiation of immunosuppressive therapy. The CDC also recommends universal pretreatment testing for antibody to hepatitis B surface antibody.

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