Section 41
Chapter 40,272

Hepatitis C virus infection in an area hyperendemic for hepatitis B and chronic liver disease: the Taiwan experience

Chen, D.S.; Kuo, G.C.; Sung, J.L.; Lai, M.Y.; Sheu, J.C.; Chen, P.J.; Yang, P.M.; Hsu, H.M.; Chang, M.H.; Chen, C.J.

Journal of Infectious Diseases 162(4): 817-822


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1899
PMID: 2169497
DOI: 10.1093/infdis/162.4.817
Accession: 040271899

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To assess the contribution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in liver disease in Taiwan, antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) was studied by radioimmunoassay in 392 patients with chronic liver disease and in 440 healthy adults and 444 subjects at risk. The anti-HCV prevalence was 0.95% in 420 volunteer blood donors, 90% in 100 hemophiliacs, and 81% in 58 parenteral drug abusers. Anti-HCV was present in 6 (7.7%) of 78 hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive and 28 (65%) of 43 HBsAg-negative patients with chronic hepatitis, 3 (10%) of 31 HBsAg-positive and 13 (43%) of 30 HBsAg-negative cirrhotics, and 7 (17%) of 42 HBsAg-positive and 15 (63%) of 24 HBsAg-negative patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). An outbreak of non-A, non-B hepatitis revealed 18% of 57 patients to be positive for anti-HCV, and in 29 patients with posttransfusion hepatitis prospectively followed, 7 (24%) developed anti-HCV. Thus, HCV infection appears to play a relatively minor role in HBsAg-positive liver disease in Taiwan but is strongly associated with HBsAg-negative chronic liver disease and HCC. The infection is extremely common in hemophiliacs and parenteral drug abusers.

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