Hepatitis C virus infection in Saudi Arabian recipients of renal transplantation
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 patients.
Sudan Joural of Medical Studies Vol. 2 (1) 2007: pp. 9-16
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