Use of confirmatory assays for diagnosis of hepatitis C viral infection in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

A. Mangia, D. S. Vallari, A. M. Di Bisceglie

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Serum samples from 87 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the United States were tested for evidence of hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection using an immunoblot assay for antibodies to the hepatitis C virus and the polymerase chain reaction to detect HCV RNA. The findings with these assays were compared to those with a first generation enzyme-linked immunoassay (EIA). Antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) was detected in 14 patients (16%) by EIA; only eight of these were also positive by immunoblot and four had HCV RNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). An additional four cases, negative by EIA, were found to be positive by immunoblot; two of these had HCV RNA in serum. Evidence of previous hepatitis B viral infection was noted in 15 patients (17%). Only two patients with antibody to hepatitis B core antigen also had anti-HCV by the immunoblot assay, suggesting that concomitant infection with the hepatitis B and C viruses was not common. Thus, HCV infection appears to play a less important role in the pathogenesis of HCC in the United States than in southern Europe and Japan and other etiologic factors should be sought in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-128
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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