Sudan Journal of Medical Sciences

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Hepatitis C virus infection in Saudi Arabian recipients of renal transplantation

A AyoolaE, K V Srinivas, M O Gadour


Background: Studies of recipients most of whom had been infected prior to transplantation, had yielded conflicting
conclusions in regard to the clinical impact of hepatitis C virus [HCV] infection. We determined the frequency of new
HCV infection and assessed its effect on patient and graft survival and occurrence of chronic hepatitis in renal
transplant recipients.
Methods: We studied 54 Saudi recipients [37 males and 17 females; mean age (SD); 38.2(17.1) years] they were anti-
HCV negative at the time of transplantation and followed for 3 to 19 years [mean = 8.1]. The prevalence of anti-HCV
at the time of censorship was compared with the rates in 99 hemodialyzed patients, 400 healthy volunteers and 113
hospitalized patients.
Results: The period prevalence of anti-HCV in recipients was 37% [20 of 54], compared to hemodialyzed patients
[17.1%], hospital patients [1.8%] and healthy volunteers [2.3%]. [P < 0.01]. Seroconversion to anti-HCV positivity
occurring from 2 to 11 years [mean =7.8] after transplantation and was not influenced by age, gender or source of donor
kidney. Cumulative frequency of HBsAg was 14.8%. Graft loss occurred in 1 HCV positive recipient. Serum
aminotransferase was abnormal [>2 - fold elevation] in 2 anti-HCV positive recipients transiently. No deaths occurred
among the recipients.
Conclusion: The acquisition of new HCV infections had a relatively high frequency among renal transplant recipients
in the study. The course of the infection was benign in the medium term, with no discernible progression to clinically
recognized chronic liver disease. Further studies are required to determine cost- benefit of antiviral therapy in such

Sudan Joural of Medical Studies Vol. 2 (1) 2007: pp. 9-16
AJOL African Journals Online