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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1994;9(11):1611-5.

Incidence of seroconversion for hepatitis C virus in chronic haemodialysis patients: a prospective study.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology and Dialysis, Lecco Hospital, Italy.


We conducted a prospective study in HD patients of our unit to evaluate the incidence of seroconversion for HCV in this high-risk group. Two hundred and thirty-five patients were observed during the average follow-up of 29.4 months: 183 were seronegative and 52 seropositive for anti-HCV antibodies at the start of the study. During the observation period two of 183 patients developed anti-HCV antibodies late in the study, while the other 181 patients remained seronegative throughout the observation period; anti-HCV antibodies persisted through the follow-up in the 52 HCV-positive patients at the beginning of the study. Our results showed a very low incidence of HCV seropositivity (0.44% per year) after implementation of our operative protocol including 'universal precautions' and other infection control procedures. Once infected, there is no disappearance rate of anti-HCV. The 4-RIBA results did not change during the follow-up period. Prevalence of HCV RNA by PCR technique was 41% (22 of 54) among anti-HCV-positive patients. Future investigations are warranted to clarify the exact route of transmission of HCV among HD patients and to reduce the rate of HCV transmission in this clinical setting.

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