Outcome of hepatitis C virus infection in Chinese paid plasma donors: a 12-19-year cohort study

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Mar;27(3):526-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2011.06880.x.


Background and aims: Commercial plasma donation was introduced in China in the 1970s. Cases of non-A, non-B hepatitis (hepatitis C) continued to occur, with multiple outbreaks among plasma donors in Guan county, Hebei province between 1972 and 1990. The outcomes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in these paid plasma donors from six villages of Guan county were followed up for 12-19 years.

Methods: A total of 402 plasma donors with HCV infection were enrolled since anti-HCV-positive in 1991 or 1998. Follow up was maintained until death or the end of the observation period. No antiviral treatment was applied during the period of infection.

Results: Follow up was lost in 23 cases. After a 12-19-year follow up, 31 donors died, with the cause of death directly related to liver disease in 15 cases, and an overall mortality of 8.18% (31/379). The incidence of liver cirrhosis was 10.03%, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was 2.90%. The rate of viral spontaneous clearing was 20.32% (77/379), and 13.69% (23/168) in males and 25.59% (54/211) in females. In May 2010, detections were performed in 348 cases. Abnormality of liver function was related to HCV viremia. Sex and alcohol intake impacted the outcome of HCV infection. There was no correlation between the viral spontaneous clearance with age of infection and genotype.

Conclusions: This area has a high rate of chronicity in HCV infection due to plasma donation. Twenty-five years after virus infection, liver cirrhosis or HCC developed in one-tenth of patients, with an overall mortality of 8.18%.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Blood Donors*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / complications*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / mortality
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • China
  • Elasticity
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / immunology*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / complications*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / diagnostic imaging
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / mortality
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology
  • Humans
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis / mortality
  • Liver Neoplasms / complications*
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • RNA, Viral / blood*
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Sex Factors
  • Ultrasonography
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • RNA, Viral
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase