Significance of the presence of antibodies against hepatitis C virus in asymptomatic blood donors

Significance of the presence of antibodies against hepatitis C virus in asymptomatic blood donors

Author Ferraz, Maria Lucia Cardoso Gomes Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Adania, Roseli Susa Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Figueiredo, Virginia Maria Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Lanzoni, Valeria Pereira Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Silva, AEB Google Scholar
Institution Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Abstract In order to determine the significance of anti-hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) antibodies in blood donors, 46 consecutive asymptomatic individuals were recruited at the blood bank of Hospital Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. They were submitted to an interview to collect epidemiological data and to clinical examination and blood samples were obtained for biochemical, serological and virological analysis. All patients were followed for a minimum period of six months and those with abnormal mean alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels were submitted to a liver biopsy after giving informed consent. Hepatitis C virus RNA (HCVRNA) was detected by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 22/46 (47.8%) patients and this finding was associated with parenteral risk factors (P = 0.03) and ethanol abuse (P = 0.03). HCVRNA positivity was also associated with abnormal levels of ALT (P<0.001) and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (gamma-GT) (P = 0.01). Abnormal ALT levels were a good marker of viremia, with 86.4% sensitivity and 79.2% specificity. Twenty-three patients with elevated mean ALT levels were submitted to a liver biopsy and histopathological changes were observed in 17 of them (73.9%). HCVRNA positivity was associated with severe forms of hepatic disease (chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis). These results indicate the need for a judicious evaluation of all anti-HCV-positive blood donors, including clinical examination, biochemical tests and liver histology when ALT is persistently elevated.
Keywords hepatitis C
blood donors
Language English
Date 1996-10-01
Published in Brazilian Journal Of Medical And Biological Research. Sao Paulo: Assoc Bras Divulg Cientifica, v. 29, n. 10, p. 1275-1282, 1996.
ISSN 0100-879X (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Assoc Bras Divulg Cientifica
Extent 1275-1282
Access rights Closed access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:A1996VM71000004

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