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Acta Gastroenterol Latinoam. 2003;33(4):177-81.

[Prevalence of hepatic involvement, alcoholism, hepatis B, C and HIV in patients with background history of drug use].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio de Gastroenterología, Sección de Hepatología del Hospital Rodolfo Rossi de La Plata, Argentina.


Drug addicts frequently have liver diseases for different reasons: alcohol abuse, the drugs themselves, but more often hepatitis B and C infections. AIDS is common in this population as well and could also affect the liver directly or in the form of hepatocellular or biliary damage. We conducted this study to determine the prevalence of liver diseases, alcoholism, hepatitis B and C infections, and HIV positivity in this population. We studied a cohort of 137 persons, all with a history of drug abuse, and investigated the quantity of alcohol intake, the kind of drug used, and he routes of drug administration.


We found liver disease in 33.6%. The prevalence of alcoholism was 65.4%, of HCV 67.3%, and of HBV 17.3%. HDV was undetectable, whereas we found HIV at a frequency of 17.3%. HCV RNA was detected in 85.4% of HCV. The drug most often used was cocaine at 90.4%, followed by marihuana at 88.3%; LSD use occurred in 17.5%. We found parenteral drug use in 43.1%. We performed 22 liver biopsies, 21 associated with HCV, and detected histological changes consistent with chronic hepatitis in 17, with cirrhosis in 4, and with hepatocellularcarcinoma in 1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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