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J Hepatol. 2003 Apr;38(4):506-10.

Occult HBV infection and YMDD variants in hemodialysis patients with chronic HCV infection.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Hepatology Division, Istanbul University, Istanbul Medical Faculty, Capa, 34390 Istanbul, Turkey.



End-stage renal disease patients on chronic hemodialysis are at risk for both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Although the prevalence is unknown in hemodialysis patients, occult HBV infection is frequent in subjects with chronic HCV infection. We aimed to investigate (1) the prevalence and clinical impact of occult HBV infection in hemodialysis patients with chronic HCV infection, and (2) the frequency of YMDD variants (tyrosine-methionine-aspartate-aspartate amino acid motif of HBV polymerase) in this setting.


Thirty-three anti-HCV and HCV-RNA-positive, HBsAg-negative hemodialysis patients (mean age 36.9+/-10.4 years, 22 male) were admitted to this study. HBV-DNA (Innogenetics kit) and HCV-RNA (Cobas Amplicor HCV kit) were investigated by polymerase chain reaction technique (PCR). YMDD mutation was studied in all HBV-DNA-positive patients by the BOOM method.


HBV-DNA was detected in 12 of 33 patients (36.4%) by PCR. Their mean age was 33.0+/-9.0 years. Age, dialysis period (years) and biochemical parameters were not significantly different in patients with and without occult HBV infection. YMDD variants were identified in six of 12 (50%) patients with occult HBV infection.


Occult HBV infection is frequent in hemodialysis patients with chronic HCV infection. YMDD variants are common in this setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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