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J Hepatol. 2001 Aug;35(2):284-9.

Risk of parenterally transmitted hepatitis following exposure to surgery or other invasive procedures: results from the hepatitis surveillance system in Italy.

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Laboratory of Epidemiology, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.



To evaluate the strength of association between parenterally transmitted viral hepatitis and specific types of invasive procedures.


Data from the surveillance system for type-specific acute viral hepatitis (SEIEVA) during the period 1994-1999 were used. The association of acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with the potential risk factors (odds ratios (OR)) was estimated comparing 3120 hepatitis B and 1023 hepatitis C cases with 7158 hepatitis A cases, used as controls, by multiple logistic regression analysis.


Most procedures resulted in being associated with the risk of acquiring acute HBV or HCV. The strongest associations were: for HBV infection, abdominal surgery (adjusted OR = 3.9; 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 2.0-7.5), oral surgery (OR = 2.7; 95% CI = 1.6-4.5) and gynaecological surgery (OR = 2.6; 95% CI = 1.2-5.5); for HCV infection, obstetric/gynaecological interventions (OR = 12.1; 95% CI = 5.6-26.3), abdominal surgery (OR = 7.0; 95% CI = 3.2-14.9) and ophthalmological surgery (OR = 5.2; 95% CI = 1.1-23.2). Biopsy and/or endoscopy were associated with HCV, but not with HBV infection.


Invasive procedures represent an important mode of HBV and HCV transmission. Since a large proportion of the adult general population is exposed to these procedures and an effective HCV vaccine is not yet available, non-immunological means of controlling iatrogenic modes of transmission are extremely important.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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