Perinatal Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus
Last updated: March 19, 2013
A 26-year-old woman in the second trimester of her first pregnancy is evaluated by her obstetrician for extreme fatigue and pruritis. Her past medical history is unremarkable; she is currently in a monogamous relationship, but describes multiple male sex partners prior to this relationship. Prenatal tests for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) are negative. She previously received three doses of hepatitis B vaccine. Her physical examination is unremarkable with the exception of scattered minor excoriations related to what she describes as occasional “unbearable itchiness.” An elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) prompts further evaluation for liver disease and she is found to have a positive hepatitis C virus (HCV) serum antibody (anti-HCV) and a HCV RNA level of 2.3 million IU/ml, determined by a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT).
Which of the following is a TRUE statement regarding potential transmission of HCV from the patient to her newborn during the perinatal period?