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J Nephrol. 1999 Sep-Oct;12(5):322-7.

Results of a national epidemiological investigation on HCV infection among dialysis patients. (Survey by the Italian Branch of EDTNA/ERCA).

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  • 1Nephrology and Dialysis Unit, SM Annunziata Hospital, Firenze, Italy.


The Italian Branch of EDTNA-ERCA organised a retrospective epidemiological investigation on the spread of HCV infection in dialysis. A questionnaire was sent to 830 Italian dialysis centres to collect information about prevalence and incidence of HCV infection among patients and staff, anti-HCV testing, presumed sources of infection, sanitation procedures and dialysis strategies adopted to prevent or reduce the transmission of HCV infection. Twenty-seven percent of the dialysis centres responded to the questionnaire. The answers confirmed the decline in HCV prevalence and incidence. At variance with official health organisation recommendations, isolation of anti-HCV-positive patients is still used in many centres (25%) despite the fact that it is not advisable in view of the high cost and uncertain benefit. Dedicated machines for anti-HCV-positive patients should be adopted, at least in units with a high prevalence of these cases.

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