From 1982 to 1989, pregnant women in two large city hospitals in The Netherlands had serum samples screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Infants of mothers found to be HBsAg-positive received hepatitis B immune globulin immediately after birth and hepatitis B vaccine in the first year of life. Blood samples of infants were regularly tested for HBsAg and antibodies directed against HBsAg. A retrospective analysis of the pregnancy outcome in HBsAg-positive women who had invasive tests for prenatal diagnosis was carried out to determine whether amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS) are risk factors for the intrauterine transmission of the hepatitis B virus. Amniocentesis was carried out in 17 HBsAg-positive women and CVS in one case. Only two women were HBsAg- and HBeAg-positive. Prenatal diagnosis led to the termination of pregnancy for fetal chromosome abnormality in three cases. The remaining 15 pregnancies were uneventful; all infants were negative for HBsAg and developed an active immune response to the vaccine. These data suggest that amniocentesis in HBsAg-positive women constitutes a low risk for the intrauterine transmission of the hepatitis B virus, but definite conclusions in HBeAg-positive women cannot be drawn.

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Prenatal Diagnosis
Department of Virology

Grosheide, P. M., Quartero, H. W. P., Schalm, S., Heijtink, R., & Christiaens, C. G. M. L. (1994). Early invasive prenatal diagnosis in HBsAg-positive women. Prenatal Diagnosis, 14(7), 553–558. doi:10.1002/pd.1970140707