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Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2011 Mar;29 Suppl 3:14-9. doi: 10.1016/S0213-005X(11)70022-2.

[Occult hepatitis C virus infection].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

  • 1Fundación para el Estudio de las Hepatitis Virales, Madrid, España. fehvhpa@fehv.org

Abstract

Occult hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is characterized by the detection of HCV-RNA in liver in the absence of anti-HCV and serum HCV-RNA determined by conventional techniques. The development of a new enzyme immunoassay for the detection of antibodies against a conserved epitope in the HCV core protein, together with the detection of HCV-RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and in serum after concentrating the viral particles by ultracentrifugation, allow diagnosis of more than 90% of patients with occult HCV without the need to perform a liver biopsy. Histological damage in occult HCV infection ranges from minimal changes to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, although in general this disease is less severe than classical chronic hepatitis C. A significant prevalence of occult HCV infection has been identified in risk groups such as hemodialysis patients and the family members of patients with occult hepatitis C. This occult HCV infection can also be found in subjects without clinical or biochemical evidence of liver disease.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier España S.L. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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