The Danish Society of Infectious Diseases and Danish Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology set up a committee in 2007 to produce national guidelines for treatment of viral hepatitis B and C. The 2011 version of the guidelines have been endorsed by the scientific societies and are presented below. Annual updates will be available at the websites of the societies. As this present English version has been written six months after the Danish 2011 version, it contains minor changes that will be integrated in the Danish 2012 version, available at the end this year.
Epidemiology: Viral hepatitis is not common in Denmark. The prevalence has not been determined by national surveys, but it is estimated that 10,000-15,000 patients are chronically infected with hepatitis B and 15,000-20,000 with chronic hepatitis C. The majority of patients with HBV infection in Denmark are emigrants from high endemic countries, probably infected at birth or early childhood in their country of origin, while the majority of patients with HCV infection have been infected by drug use. For both groups it is estimated that only half of the patients have been diagnosed, of whom only 20% attends specialized care for their chronic viral hepatitis.
Clinical care: According to the Danish National Board of Health, patients with chronic viral hepatitis should be followed with regular intervals, at clinics specialized in either infectious diseases or gastroenterology/hepatology. The primary aim is to identify patients with significant liver disease to initiate treatment in order to prevent development of cirrhosis and death. This is primarily done by liver biopsy, but screening for fibrosis with non-invasive methods such as elastography may be sufficient in some patients. Patients with established cirrhosis should enter screening programs for complications such as esophageal varices and hepatocellular carcinoma.