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Intervirology. 1997;40(4):277-8.

High percentage of seronegative HCV infections in hemodialysis patients: the need for PCR.

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Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Immunologie, Universitäts-Krankenhaus Eppendorf, Hamburg, Deutschland.


Among patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis, a high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can be observed. In a prospective study, sera of 273 patients were examined for the presence of HCV infection by serological tests and by PCR. Thirty-five patients (12.8%) were HCV antibody positive, and in 31 of them HCV RNA could be detected by PCR. Among the 238 seronegative patients HCV infection was detected in 12 cases (5.0%) exclusively by PCR. Only in 1 of these patients seroconversion could be observed within the 18-month follow-up period. These findings demonstrate that in hemodialysis patients PCR is necessary for the diagnosis of HCV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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