Acute hepatitis C infection in patients undergoing therapy for haematological malignancies: a clinical and virological study

Brink, N. S. and Chopra, R. and Perrons, C. J. and Ring, Christopher J. and Garson, Jeremy A. and Briggs, M. and Goldstone, A. H. and Linch, D. C. and Tedder, Richard S. (1993) Acute hepatitis C infection in patients undergoing therapy for haematological malignancies: a clinical and virological study. British Journal of Haematology, 83 (3). pp. 498-503. ISSN 0007-1048

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Patients receiving multiple transfusions are at risk of acquiring hepatitis C (HCV) infection from a donor population which is unscreened for hepatitis C antibodies (anti-HCV). Prior to the introduction of blood donor screening for anti-HCV in the U.K., a group of patients undergoing therapy for haematological malignancies, with repeatedly abnormal liver function tests, were investigated for acute HCV infection. Thirty-two patients had repeatedly raised serum transaminases, and eight of these (25%) had evidence of an acute HCV infection. The diagnosis was made by the detection of HCV-RNA in the patients' serum using a complementary DNA/polymerase chain reaction (cDNA/PCR) procedure. All eight patients had received myeloablative chemotherapy and three had undergone bone marrow transplantation. HCV infection contributed significantly to the morbidity of this group of patients in the short term whilst they were undergoing treatment for their underlying haematological condition. The long-term effects have yet to be evaluated. In an attempt to decrease hepatic damage due to HCV, three patients were placed on interferon therapy. None showed a sustained reduction in serum transaminases or HCV viraemia. It is hoped that the introduction of anti-HCV screening of blood donors, will reduce the frequency of transfusion-acquired HCV infections. Early observations suggest that this is the case, as we have seen no new cases of HCV infection in our unit since the introduction of donor screening in September 1991.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:A. Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
ID Code:3323
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Deposited On:03 Dec 2009 15:54
Last Modified:24 Nov 2014 13:47

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