Eleonora Ballanti 1 , Paola Conigliaro , Maria Sole Chimenti , Barbara Kroegler , Gioia Di Muzio , Maria Domenica Guarino , Paola Triggianese , Gianfranco Gigliucci , Lucia Novelli , Carmen Barbato , Roberto Perricone
The safety of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) inhibitors in the setting of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections is controversial. The use of anti-TNF-α in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with an increased risk of hepatitis re-activation. This paper reports experience of using etanercept and adalimumab in 32 patients with RA and previous HBV or HCV infection. No cases of HBV or HCV reactivation were seen. In just over a fifth of patients, increased transaminases levels were seen, which were associated with concomitant use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, isoniazid prophylaxis, or alcohol abuse. In our experience, anti-TNF-α therapy appears to be safe in RA patients with previous HBV or HCV infection, but monitoring remains necessary in these patients.