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Scand J Infect Dis. 1991;23(4):421-4.

Superinfection with hepatitis C virus in patients with symptomatic chronic hepatitis B.

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Department of Medicine, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.


11/323 patients (3.4%) with symptomatic chronic hepatitis B were positive for antibody to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV). The positive rate of anti-HCV in patients with serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels greater than 200 U/l (n = 219) did not exceed that of the patients with ALT less than or equal to 200 U/l (n = 104) (2.7% vs. 4.8%). Of the 219 patients who were positive for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and/or hepatitis B virus-DNA (HBV-DNA), 5 (2.3%) had anti-HCV, while 6/104 patients (5.8%) who were positive for antibody to HBeAg (anti-HBe) had anti-HCV (p greater than 0.1). In contrast to the anti-HCV-negative patients, the patients with anti-HCV had a higher percentage of cirrhosis in their liver histological findings (36.4% vs 5.4%, p less than 0.005). In conclusion, the prevalence of HCV superinfection in symptomatic chronic hepatitis B patients is low and HCV superinfection is not an important factor in acute exacerbation of chronic hepatitis B. However, the superinfection with HCV may exacerbate the existing liver disease and accelerate its progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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