Table of Contents
Hepatitis Research and Treatment
Volume 2013, Article ID 259148, 7 pages
Review Article

Occult Hepatitis B: Clinical Viewpoint and Management

Internal Medicine Department, Imam Reza Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

Received 5 December 2012; Revised 25 January 2013; Accepted 9 February 2013

Academic Editor: Yoichi Hiasa

Copyright © 2013 Mehdi Zobeiri. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Occult HBV infection (OBI) is defined as HBV DNA detection in serum or in the liver by sensitive diagnostic tests in HBsAg-negative patients with or without serologic markers of previous viral exposure. OBI seems to be higher among subjects at high risk for HBV infection and with liver disease. OBI can be both a source of virus contamination in blood and organ donations and the reservoir for full blown hepatitis after reactivation. HBV reactivation depends on viral and host factors but these associations have not been analyzed thoroughly. In OBI, it would be best to prevent HBV reactivation which inhibits the development of hepatitis and subsequent mortality. In diverse cases with insufficient data to recommend routine prophylaxis, early identification of virologic reactivation is essential to start antiviral therapy. For retrieving articles regarding OBI, various databases, including OVID, PubMed, Scopus, and ScienceDirect, were used.