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Transfusion. 2002 Sep;42(9):1146-53.

Transfusion transmission of HCV infection before anti-HCV testing of blood donations in England: results of the national HCV lookback program.

[No authors listed]



An HCV lookback program started in England in 1995.


Data from all English blood centers were collated to describe the outcomes of the HCV lookback program in England and to create a retrospective cohort for study. Numbers of recipients identified, numbers that were tested, and numbers that were found to be HCV infected were summarized. The data set created was used to describe the outcomes of the lookback and the HCV infections detected.


A total of 4424 recipients of 9222 blood components made before donation testing for anti-HCV from the donations of 1286 donors found, on subsequent testing, to be anti-HCV positive or indeterminate were identified. Of these, 1351 blood recipients were reported as having been traced for testing. Fifty percent of tested recipients were found to be HCV infected. Factors positively associated with HCV infection in tested recipients were more recent year of transfusion and PCR positivity of the donor at the time of their testing.


The majority of components entering lookback did not result in a tested recipient. However, this lookback has identified a large group of HCV-infected individuals. Follow-up of this group for disease progression will inform the natural history of HCV infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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