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Hepatic dysfunction in a population of antibody-deficient patients: Prevalence, aetiology and outcome of PCR screening for hepatitis C and G viruses

O'Leary, P.F.G., Collingham, K., Skidmore, S., King, J. and Bennett, Clare 1999. Hepatic dysfunction in a population of antibody-deficient patients: Prevalence, aetiology and outcome of PCR screening for hepatitis C and G viruses. Vox Sanguinis 76 (3) , pp. 144-148. 10.1159/000031039

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Abstract

Background and Objectives: A group of 40 antibody–deficient patients receiving regular infusions of intravenous immunoglobulin underwent close monitoring in an attempt to identify hepatic dysfunction. The continuing risk of hepatitis virus transmission, especially hepatitis C virus via immunoglobulin products prompted this policy. We report our findings. Methods: Screening included measurement of transaminase levels at each infusion. The patients were also tested for evidence of infection with hepatitis viruses B, C and G. Results: Abnormal liver function tests were identified in 6 cases. However, a blood–borne viral aetiology was not found in any of these cases. Additional investigation allowed an alternative aetiology to be identified in most cases. One patient found to be positive for hepatitis G virus (HGV)–RNA by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction has no evidence to date of clinical problems as a result. Interpretation: The results are reassuring in that definite iatrogenic hepatitis virus transmission has not been found in this cohort, despite long–term treatment with a wide range of immunoglobulin products. The source of infection of the single patient infected with HGV remains as uncertain as the pathogenic potential of this virus. However, as long as the risk of immunoglobulin–associated viral transmission continues, a strict monitoring programme such as ours should continue to facilitate prompt detection of cases with abnormal liver function. Liver dysfunction in this group requires full investigation and we cannot exclude infection with hitherto unidentified blood–borne viruses.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0042-9007
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2018 13:16
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/110984

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