Send to

Choose Destination
Hepatology. 1999 Jul;30(1):283-8.

Transfusion-associated TT virus infection and its relationship to liver disease.

Author information

Department of Transfusion Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


TT virus (TTV) has been proposed as the causative agent of non-A to E hepatitis. We studied the association between TTV viremia and biochemical evidence of hepatitis in blood donors and prospectively-followed patients. TTV was found in 7.5% of 402 donors and in 11.0% of 347 patients before transfusion. The rate of new TTV infections was 4.7% in 127 nontransfused, and 26.4% in 182 transfused patients (P <.0001). The risk of infection increased with the number of units transfused (P <.0001). The rate of new TTV infections in 13 patients with non-A to E hepatitis (23.2%) was almost identical to the rate in 124 patients who were transfused, but did not develop hepatitis (21.8%). Of 45 patients with acute hepatitis C, 40.0% were simultaneously infected with TTV. TTV did not worsen the biochemical severity (mean ALT: 537 in TTV+; 550 in TTV-) or persistence of hepatitis C. In non-A to E cases, the mean ALT was 182 in those TTV-positive and 302 in TTV-negatives. No consistent relationship between alanine transaminase level and TTV DNA level was observed in 4 patients with long-term, sequential samples. Of 21 viremic subjects, 67% cleared TTV within 5 years (38% in 1 year); 33% were viremic throughout follow-up extending to 22 years. We conclude that TTV is a very common, often persistent infection that is transmitted by transfusion and by undefined nosocomial routes. We found no association between TTV and non-A to E hepatitis and no effect of TTV on the severity or duration of coexistent hepatitis C. TTV may not be a primary hepatitis virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center