Haematological Parameters in Nigerians with Acute Viral Hepatitis
Background: Alteration in hematological profile is a common finding in systemic and infectious diseases. The knowledge of the frequency of the haematological abnormalities in patients with acute viral hepatitis will support the need for this indispensable tool in the investigation of infectious diseases. The objective of this study is to describe the haematological profile of patients with acute viral hepatitis.
Methods: Packed cell volume (PCV), white blood cell count (WBC), platelet count, prothrombin Time (PT) and partial thromboplastin time in kaolin (PTTK) were reviewed in 50 patients with acute viral hepatitis at the Gastroenterology and Haematology clinics of the University College Hospital Ibadan compared with controls. The patients were not followed up for outcome of disease.
Result: Among the patients, anaemia was detected in 12(24%) with mean WBC count of 8.1 ± 11.4 x 109/mm3. The WBC count was abnormal in 8(16%) of the patients; 2(4%) of the patients were leucopenic. Neutrophilic and lymphocytic leucocytosis were observed in 6(12%) patients. Thrombocytopenia was not observed in any of the patients. One third of the patients had abnormal coagulation profile.
Conclusion: Haematological abnormalities in patients with acute viral hepatitis are non-specific. However, abnormal haematological profile found in one quarter of the patients underscores the need for routine blood count in acute viral hepatitis. Follow up of patients with leucopenia or bicytopenia even after recovery from acute viral hepatitis should constitute an essential part of these patients’ management.