South African Medical Journal

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The incidence of Australia antigen/antibody in acute and chronic liver disease

O.L. Meyers, I.R.G. Dowdeswell, N Gitlin, M Keraan


The Australia (Au/SH) antigen was sought in patients with-acute viral hepatitis, chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatoma of the liver. Thirty per cent of patients with infectious hepatitis and 50% of patients with serum hepatitis had positive tests for Australia antigen. Antibody to the Australia antigen was present in 11-4% of patients with infectious hepatitis, and in 16% of patients with serum hepatitis, thus increasing the over-all positive test to 41.4% and 66% respectively. Screening for antibody is regarded as being of useful diagnostic assistance in patients with hepatitis and also for screening for hepatitis in potential blood donors.

The incidence of positive tests for Australia antiigen in chronic hepatitis was 26%, in cirrhosis 6% and in hepatoma 25%.

AJOL African Journals Online