High rates of hepatitis G virus infection in multitransfused patients with hemophilia

Francesca De Filippi, M. Colombo, Maria Grazia Rumi, F. Tradati, D. Prati, A. Zanella, P. M. Mannucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The parallel measurement of serum antibodies to the hepatitis G virus (anti-HGV) and of viremia (HGV-RNA) should improve our understanding of HGV transmission by coagulation factor concentrates. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between HGV, the type of concentrate infused, and liver disease in multitransfused hemophiliacs. To this end, anti-HGV and HGV- RNA were evaluated by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a nested- polymerase chain reaction assay in patients treated lifelong with nonvirus- inactivated plasma-derived concentrates (n = 128), virus-inactivated concentrates (n = 33), or recombinant factors (n = 7), and in 200 regular blood donors. The prevalence of serum HGV-RNA and anti-HGV was higher in the recipients of nonvirus-inactivated factors than in blood donors (HGV-RNA: 9% v 1.5%, P = .002; anti-HGV: 32% v 5%, P <.0001). In the recipients of virus- inactivated concentrates the prevalences of these markers were similar to those in blood donors (HGV-RNA: 3% v 1.5%; anti-HGV: 15% v 5%). The prevalence of either marker in the recipients of nonvirus-inactivated concentrates was higher than in the recipients of virus-inactivated factors (39% v 18%, P = .04). The former group had serum hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA or anti-HCV more frequently than the latter group (HCV-RNA: 86% v 15%, P <.0001; anti-HCV: 96% v 18%, P <.0001). Serum alanine aminotransferase was persistently high in 83 (81%) patients with HCV-RNA alone, in 8 (89%) with HCV/HGV coinfection, and in none of the three patients with HGV-RNA only. Thus, HGV infection in hemophiliacs is more common than previous studies of HGV-RNA prevalence have suggested, but it resolved in most cases and caused chronic viremia only in a small number of patients, without biochemical evidence of persistent liver damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4634-4637
Number of pages4
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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