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, 77 (6), 1157-60

Serum Hepatitis C Virus Sequences in Posttransfusion non-A, non-B Hepatitis

  • PMID: 1705830

Serum Hepatitis C Virus Sequences in Posttransfusion non-A, non-B Hepatitis

M Shibata et al. Blood.


We investigated 17 patients (12 males and 5 females, ages 2 to 57 years old) with posttransfusion non-A, non-B hepatitis to determine relationships between clinical courses and hepatitis C virus (HCV) markers. The patients were grouped according to time course of abnormal serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels into three categories (chronic biochemical disease, biochemically resolved chronic disease, and acute disease). Latest serum samples (1.3 to 10.8 years after blood transfusion) were used to detect antibodies against C100-3 antigen (anti-HCV) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and HCV sequences by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Of the 17 patients, 13 patients (76.5%) were anti-HCV positive and 8 patients (47.1%), including one anti-HCV negative case, were positive for HCV RNA. In total, 14 patients (82.4%) were positive for either HCV markers. With respect to clinical course, HCV RNA was detected in six of eight patients (75%) with chronic biochemical disease, and in two of five patients (40%) with biochemically resolved chronic disease. HCV RNA was not detectable in convalescent sera from four patients with acute disease. These results show that there is a relationship between clinical status and HCV viremia, but that normal liver function tests do not always represent the clearance of the virus. Viremia in two patients with normal ALT level suggests that hepatitis is not only caused by viral cytopathic effects, but also by immunologic reactions against virus-infected cells. Thus, PCR is useful in determining the persistence of HCV infection as well as to diagnose anti-HCV negative HCV infection.

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