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Int J Artif Organs. 1990 Nov;13(11):737-41.

Non-A, non-B hepatitis and anti-HCV antibodies in dialysis patients.

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Department of Nephrology, Arcispedale S. Anna, Ferrara, Italy.


To define the prevalence of non-A, non-B hepatitis, antibodies to HCV were detected in 193 patients on renal replacement therapy (52 transplant and 141 hemodialysis patients) and in 50 staff members of a Nephrology Department. Unequivocal seroconversion was documented in 5 transplant (9.6%) and in 26 dialysis patients (18.4%). In the dialysis population, the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies was evaluated in patients grouped according to the number of blood transfusions and to the different sections of dialytic treatment. The most striking findings were the marked differences in the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies among patients treated in different sections (from 0% to 70%), and the presence of a significant increase in alanine-amino-transferase (ALT) concentrations in 14 anti-HCV negative patients. The results suggest that the diffusion of non-A, non-B hepatitis is mainly transfusion-related, with the possibility of significant environmental diffusion related to the violation of infection-control measures. The current immunoassay is probably unable to detect the actual frequency of the infection.

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