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Acta Paediatr. 2007 Jul;96(7):1050-2. Epub 2007 May 10.

Look-back study of Hepatitis C in teenagers after blood transfusions as neonates.

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  • 1Division of Pediatrics, Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot, Israel.



To conduct a single-centre "look-back" study of the prevalence of hepatitis C in teenagers who had received blood products as newborns, prior to hepatitis C virus (HCV) blood donor screening.


Using blood bank records, we identified 732 surviving teenagers aged 14-18 years who had received blood products as neonates during 1986-1990. Letters recommending HCV antibody testing were sent to 732 surviving teenagers; 581 recipients were contacted and invited to undergo testing, and, of these, 429 consented (59% of the survivors). HCV antibody testing was performed on all and HCV-RNA was tested on those who were antibody positive.


Three teenagers (0.7%, 95% CI 0.54-0.86) tested positive for HCV antibodies and all three were HCV-RNA positive. There were no cases in which antibodies were detected and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was negative. Two of the three had mildly elevated liver enzymes and all three had mild inflammatory activity and low fibrosis scores on liver biopsy.


The look-back process, even in a single centre with a stable urban population, is relatively inefficient in screening at-risk populations. Although the prevalence of hepatitis C in this sample was relatively low, paediatricians should offer screening to teenagers and young adults who received blood products in the neonatal period.

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