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Am J Gastroenterol. 1994 Aug;89(8):1147-51.

Prevalence and significance of hepatitis C viremia in chronic active hepatitis B.

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1
Gastroenterology and Hepatology Unit, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the prevalence and significance of HCV infection in patients with chronic active hepatitis B.

METHODS:

We studied clinical and histological activity in 132 patients with chronic active hepatitis B, 17 of whom were co-infected by HCV. Serum HBV-DNA was determined by dot-blot hybridization and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serum HCV-RNA was determined by ELISA-2, RIBA-2, and reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR).

RESULTS:

HBV-DNA was detected by dot-blot in five of 17 (29.4%) patients in the HCV-RNA-positive group and in 64 of 115 (55.6%) in the HCV-RNA-negative group (p < 0.05). The low levels of HBV replication (assessed by PCR) were similar in both groups. Mean levels of serum AST, ALT, and gamma-globulin, as well as mean scores of liver damage, were significantly higher among HCV-RNA-positive patients than among HCV-RNA-negative patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

1) Concomitant HCV infection occurs frequently in patients with chronic active hepatitis B; 2) co-infection of HBV and HCV is more common in the absence of HBV-DNA detected by dot-blot hybridization; 3) liver disease seems to be more severe in patients with concomitant HBV and HCV infection, even though the number of replicative HBV patients was lower in the group of HCV-infected patients. This suggests that the role of HCV is probably important as the cause of persistent liver disease. 4) The detection of HBV-DNA by dot-blot and HCV-RNA by PCR could help to establish whether HBV, HCV, or both contribute to liver injury.

PMID:
8053425
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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