Hepatitis B vaccination in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Nov 7;20(41):15358-66. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i41.15358.


Aim: To determine the prevalence for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HBV screening and vaccination practices for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Methods: This study is a retrospective, cross-sectional observational study. A retrospective chart review was performed in 500 patients who have been consecutively treated for IBD between September 2008 and January 2013 at the Rush University Medical Center Gastroenterology section. The patients were identified through the electronic medical record with the criteria that they attended the gastroenterology clinic, and that they had a diagnosis of IBD at the time of visit discharge. Once identified, each record was analyzed to determine whether the subject had been infected with HBV in the past, already been vaccinated against HBV, or advised to get vaccinated and followed through with the recommended vaccination.

Results: About 254 out of 500 patients (51%) had HBV screening ordered. Among those ordered to have screening tests, 86% followed through with HBV serology. Gastroenterology physicians had significantly different screening ratios from each other (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the ratios of HBV screening when IBD specialists were compared to other gastroenterology physicians (0.505 ± 0.023 vs 0.536 ± 0.066, P = 0.66). Of those 220 patients screened, 51% of IBD patients were found not to be immune against HBV. Approximately 50% of gastroenterology physicians recommended HBV vaccinations to their patients in whom serology was negative for antibodies against HBV. IBD specialists recommended vaccinations to a higher percentage of their patients compared to other gastroenterology physicians (0.168 ± 0.019 vs 0.038 ± 0.026, P = 0.015). Present and/or past HBV infection was found in 3.6% of the patients who had serology checked. There was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) between our study and that reported in previous studies done in Spain (4/220 vs 14/2076 respectively, P = 0.070); and in France (4/220 vs 3/315 respectively, P = 0.159). But, the prevalence of anti-HBcAb in this study was less than that reported in the study in Spain (7/220 vs 155/2076 respectively, P = 0.006); and was not significantly different from that reported in the study in France (7/220 vs 8/315 respectively, P = 0.313).

Conclusion: The prevalence of HBsAg in our IBD patients was not higher than previously reported European studies. Most IBD patients are not routinely screened or vaccinated against HBV at a tertiary referral center in the United States.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; Hepatitis B; Inflammatory bowel disease; Prevalence; Ulcerative colitis; Vaccination.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Chicago / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B / blood
  • Hepatitis B / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis B / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control*
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / blood
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / trends*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Referral and Consultation / trends
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Serologic Tests
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Vaccination / trends*


  • Biomarkers
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines