Hepatitis C virus testing in primary biliary cirrhosis

Emanuela Bertolini, Pier Maria Battezzati, Paola Zermiani, Savino Bruno, Gian Alessandro Moroni, Filippo Marelli, Erica Villa, Frederico Manenti, Massimo Zuin, Andrea Crosignani, Mauro Podda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We retrospectively investigated anti-HCV prevalence in a series of 160 consecutive patients with primary biliary cirrhosis who presented between 1980 and 1989. Of these, 19 (12%) were positive for anti-HCV by C-100 ELISA. Serum IgG levels were significantly higher in anti-HCV-positive patients and correlated to optical density values. A serum sample was again collected from all the patients from the same series who were seen in 1990 for follow-up, after a median period of 32 months. Anti-HCV positivity was found to be substantially unchanged in this subgroup of patients when the freshly drawn blood samples were retested with C-100 ELISA, while it increased from 10% to 17% when second generation ELISA was used. Three of the C-100 ELISA positive samples were C-100 RIB A reactive, and six of the second generation ELISA positive samples were 4-RIBA reactive. The HCV genome was not detected in any of the seven anti-HCV C-100 ELISA and second generation ELISA positive sera which were studied by polymerase chain reaction, including four cases confirmed by 4-RIBA. Life expectancy, as determined by survival analysis, did not differ significantly between anti-HCV-positive and -negative patients. These findings suggest that anti-HCV positivity does not influence the clinical presentation and course of primary biliary cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-210
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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