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Occult Hepatitis C Infection Among Hemodialysis Patients: A Prevalence Study

Reza Naghdi, Mitra Ranjbar, Farah Bokharaei-Salim, Hossein Keyvani, Shokoufeh Savaj, Shahrzad Ossareh, Amir Shirali, Amir H. Mohammad-Alizadeh


Introduction and aim. Occult hepatitis C infection (OHCI) is the presence of HCV-RNA in the liver or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) accompanying with negative serologic results. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of OHCI among Iranian chronic hemodialysis (HD) patients. Material and methods. In this cross sectional study 200 chronic HD patients with negative HCV antibody enrolled the study. Blood sample of patients were obtained, followed by Polymerase Chain reaction (PCR) testing for detection of HCV RNA. Patients with positive serum HCV RNA were considered as manifest hepatitis C infection (MHCI). However, patients with negative serum HCV RNA underwent further tests on PBMCs for detection of OHCI. Results. Serum HCV RNA was positive in 2 (1%) patients whom considered as MHCI, and 6 (3.03%) patients had positive PBMC HCV RNA. Conclusion. In conclusion, chronic HD patients have been considered as a high risk group for hepatitis C infection. The results of this study suggest that these patients are also at risk for OHCI. Furthermore, evaluating PBMCs to detect HCV RNA would be a sensitive diagnostic method to find OHCI patients.

Key words. ESRD., Hepatitis C virus., Kidney transplant., Liver disease., Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell (PBMC).

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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