question and answer
Does NASH warrant hep A & B shots?
February 2004
"I've recently had two patients diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver secondary to fatty infiltration. Both are middle-aged, obese women, and one has diabetes mellitus," reports L. MARSH, MD, of Halifax, NS, and asks, "Should these patients receive prophylactic hepatitis A and B vaccinations to prevent another hepatic insult? For what other hepatic conditions are such vaccinations suggested?"
I'm not aware of any studies that have evaluated the effectiveness of hepatitis A and B vaccines specifically in patients with NASH. Since these vaccines are very safe and effective, however, it's reasonable to offer them to these patients. On the other hand, I suspect that these shots wouldn't be cost-effective in patients who don't otherwise have risk factors. I'd generally recommend hepatitis A and B vaccines to anybody travelling to an endemic area, or patients with documented liver disease. KL (see our gastroenterologist's response to this question in the gastroenterology category)
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