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Transfusion. 1993 Aug;33(8):629-33.

Hepatitis C virus RNA in serum of blood donors with or without elevated transaminase levels.

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Hybridotest, Institut Pasteur; INSERM U75 Centre Hôpitalier Universitaire Necker, Paris, France.


The pattern of hepatitis C virus (HCV) viremia in blood donors who are positive for antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) according to the level of transaminase activity is unclear. A polymerase chain reaction-based HCV RNA detection method was used to study two clearly defined groups of anti-HCV-positive blood donors with repeatedly normal (n = 27) and elevated (n = 17) alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. HCV RNA was detected in only 4 of 27 blood donors with normal ALT values and 15 of 17 with elevated ALT values. These results indicate that anti-HCV-positive blood donors with normal ALT levels constitute a heterogeneous group, as HCV viremia is detectable in only a small proportion of cases. Polymerase chain reaction should be useful in the surveillance of anti-HCV-positive blood donors with normal ALT levels, by identifying those who might benefit from further investigation and treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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