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Curr Opin Hematol. 2000 Nov;7(6):392-6.

Hepatitis C lookback.

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Héma-Québec, Saint-Laurent, Canada.


Hepatitis C was responsible for the majority of cases of posttransfusion hepatitis before the introduction of a specific screening test for blood donors. Infected recipients may remain asymptomatic for many years, but cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma may develop decades after infection. Lookback, or the identification of recipients of potentially contaminated blood, is now being conducted in many countries, including Holland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. In targeted lookback, recipients of blood from donors subsequently found to be positive for hepatitis C are notified and advised to undergo testing. In general lookback, all patients who received blood before being tested for hepatitis C are advised to undergo testing. Difficulties with both forms of lookback illustrate the importance of vein-to-vein tracking of blood products, including the potential utility of a centralized registry of blood product recipients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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