Frank Cardile Professor of Medicine, Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation, Columbia University Medical Center, New York 10032.
BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Fetal safety of antiviral therapies is important given the long-term treatment of women with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection who may become pregnant. We analyzed neonatal safety data from the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry (APR), the largest safety database in pregnancy for antivirals used for HIV and CHB.
Data were extracted from APR cases prospectively enrolled between 1989 and 2011. Primary outcomes were major birth defects rates with exposure to all antivirals, individual classes, and drugs compared to population-based controls. Relevant to CHB, only lamivudine (LAM) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) had sufficient individual data for review (> 200 cases).
Of 13,711 cases analyzed, the overall birth defect prevalence (2.8%, 95% CI 2.6-3.1%) was comparable to Centers for Disease Control population-based data (2.72%, 2.68-2.76%, p=0.87) and two prospective antiretroviral exposed newborn cohorts (2.8%, 2.5-3.2%, p=0.90 and 1.5%, 1.1-2.0%, p<0.001). The birth defects prevalence between first and second/third trimesters exposure was similar (3.0% vs. 2.7%). No increased risk of major birth defects with LAM or TDF exposure compared to population-based controls was observed. No specific pattern of major birth defects was observed for individual antivirals or overall.
No increased risk of major birth defects including in non-live births was observed for pregnant women exposed to antivirals relevant to CHB treatment overall or to LAM or TDF compared to population-based controls. Continued safety and efficacy reporting on antivirals in pregnancy is essential to inform patients on their risks and benefits during pregnancy.