Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of HCV infection in transfusion-dependent thalassemia

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2007 (EN)
Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of HCV infection in transfusion-dependent thalassemia (EN)

D.K. Christodoulou, N. Tzambouras, Eleftheria ZervouK.L. Bourandas, E.V. Tsianos, K.H. Katsanos, A. Chaidos,

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is considered the principal etiologic agent of post-transfusion hepatitis and is the main cause of chronic liver disease in multi-transfused subjects. Transfusion-associated HCV infection has become rare since blood donor screening was initiated in 1990. There is an impressively wide range of anti-HCV(+) prevalence in thalassemics worldwide. This range varies from 2.7% to 97%. Studies in the early 90’s report higher anti- HCV rates compared to studies after 1993 when anti-HCV screening was largely available in transfusion centres. However large differences in anti-HCV(+) between centers in the same country seem to need further explanation. HCV genotype distribution also varies significantly between countries and between thalassemia centres within the same country. In studies from Asian countries, it seems that HCV infection genotypes 3 and 6 predominate. In studies from Europe there is a genotype 1 predominance, while in Greece it seems that genotype 3 predominates. Patients with â-thalassemia in Northwest Greece have an HCV seroprevalence of 22.7% which is the lowest described in Greece, while serum HCV-RNA was not detectable in the majority (74%) of HCV(+) patients. No HCV(+) patient was co-infected with HIV, HBV, HSV1, HSV2 and CMV. HCV-RNA was detectable in 4 (26%) patients and transaminasemia was frequent (73%). Alpha-interferon (a-IFN) is the first-line treatment for thalassemic patients diagnosed with HCV infection. There is, therefore, particular clinical importance to determine the incidence of HCV infection in thalassemic patients in order to facilitate monitoring and treatment policy. Key words: HCV infection, thalassemia, prevalence, HCVRNA, anti-HCV(+). (EN)




Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology (EN)

Annals of Gastroenterology; Volume 18, No 1 (2005) (EN)

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