Prospective studies have shown that the annual incidence of non-A, non-B (NANB) hepatitis may be high in haemodialysis patients. To assess whether hepatitis C virus (HCV), the major causative agent of post-transfusion and community-acquired NANB hepatitis, has a role in the pathogenesis of liver disease in dialysed patients, we have studied the prevalence and significance of antibodies to HCV in a cohort of patients with end-stage renal disease on chronic haemodialysis treatment. Seventy-four (30%) had circulating antibodies to HCV. Statistically significant associations with the anti-HCV carrier status were duration of haemodialysis treatment, blood transfusions, and the finding of abnormally elevated ALT on retrospective analysis. In contrast, only one of 103 dialysis staff members showed transient positivity for anti-HCV, suggesting a low risk of professional exposure to HCV. These findings suggest that HCV infection is relatively frequent in haemodialysis patients and may be responsible for a significant proportion of liver disease in this clinical setting.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation|
|Publication status||Published - 1991|
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