Prevalence and characterization of hepatitis C virus in hemodialysis patients

Intern Med. 1999 Aug;38(8):626-31. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.38.626.


Object: Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is common in hemodialysis (HD) patients. In the present study, the prevalence and properties of HCV in HD patients were analyzed.

Methods and results: Of 125 HD patients, 34 (27%) were positive for antibody to HCV, and HCV-RNA was detected in 23 (68%) of the 34 patients using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. The HCV-RNA sequence analysis did not identify the alterations specific to HD patients with HCV, although one patient had a variant virus containing the deletion of the core gene sequence. When serial changes in the levels of HCV-RNA were evaluated in 15 patients by a branched DNA assay, the values decreased immediately after HD procedure, but returned to the baseline values 2 days after the procedure.

Conclusion: These results indicate that HCV in HD patients is replication-competent, although a transient reduction in the levels of HCV-RNA occurs during HD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Female
  • Hepacivirus / genetics*
  • Hepacivirus / immunology
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis C Antigens / immunology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / etiology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Prevalence
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transaminases / blood


  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • Hepatitis C Antigens
  • RNA, Viral
  • Transaminases