Fifty-two patients on regular haemodialysis at our institution were evaluated for the presence of HCV infection. Evaluation included detailed history, clinical examination, and monthly screening for anti- HCV antibody, liver enzymes (ALT, AST), serum iron and ferritin. Also, three-monthly screening for other viral markers, HBV (HBsAg, HBsAb, HBcAb), CMV (IgG and IgM), EBV, and HIV. Anti-HCV antibody was found in 21 patients (40.4%). There was a significant (P<0.05) relationship between presence of anti-HCV antibody and proportion of patients who received blood transfusion. During a 12-month follow-up, four (11.4%) patients seroconverted to be Anti-HCV positive while one case (4.8%) seroconverted to be anti-HCV negative. The frequency of elevation of liver enzymes was significantly higher in Anti-HCV positive cases (14/18) than in negative cases (11/28, P=0.01). Evaluation of liver biopsies of 13 patients showed chronic persistent hepatitis in six and chronic active hepatitis in seven cases. We concluded that hepatitis C is a common problem among chronic haemodialysis patients at our institution; HCV infection is documented in 70% of all clinically diagnosed NANB hepatitis. Presence of anti-HCV antibodies cannot differentiate between active and past infection and cases with early HCV infection can be missed when relying on the mere detection of anti-HCV antibodies.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation|
|State||Published - 1992|
- Hepatitis C virus
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