Midwifery 2019 Jul 30;74:116-125. Epub 2019 Mar 30.
Center for Liver Diseases, Nantong Third People's Hospital, Nantong University, Nantong, PR China. Electronic address:
Objective: HBV mother to child transmission (MTCT) can be prevented by passive and active immunoprophylaxis. In this study, we aim to assess whether vaginal delivery is safe for HBV MTCT after immunoprophylaxis.
Material And Methods: PubMed and Web of Science were systematically searched. We compared the MTCT incidence of infants at 6 months or older between vaginal delivery and caesarean section. Serological HBV positive incidences for newborns at birth were also compared.
Results: Eighteen studies with 11,446 mother-child pairs were included in the meta-analysis. The average incidence of serological HBV positive for newborns at birth was 7.2% in the cesarean section group, and 16.6% in the vaginal delivery group. The summary odds ratio (OR) was 0.499 (95% CI 0.364-0.684; Z = 4.33, P < 0.00001) between two groups. However, the average incidences of MTCT were 3.3% and 4.1% for the cesarean section group and the vaginal delivery group, respectively. The summary OR compared between two groups was 0.790 (95% CI 0.614 to 1.016; Z = 1.83, P = 0.067). The funnel plot, Begg's Test (z = -0.55, P = 0.583) and Egger's test (t = -0.29, P = 0.777) suggested there was no publication bias among the included studies. Sensitive analyze showed the ORs were 0.764 (95% CI 0.490 to 1.192; Z = 1.19, P = 0.236), and 0.386 (95% CI 0.132 to 1.125; Z = 1.74, P = 0.0081), respectively.
Conclusion: The vaginal delivery did not increase the HBV MTCT incidence after immunoprophylaxis at 6 months old or more. The existing evidence does not support the conclusion that caesarean section can prevent MTCT in HBsAg-positive mother after immunoprophylaxis. However, this conclusion should be cautious in the HBV mother with high viral load.