Outcome of acute symptomatic non-A, non-B hepatitis: a 13-year follow-up study of hepatitis C virus markers

Liver. 1993 Oct;13(5):274-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0676.1993.tb00644.x.


Thirty-nine of 61 prospectively followed patients who had had acute non-A, non-B hepatitis in 1978 were clinically reexamined in 1991 and tested for antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) with a second generation ELISA and RIBA and for HCV RNA by PCR. Acute hepatitis C was diagnosed in stored sera from 1978 in 24 patients, who were found still to be anti-HCV positive in 1991, and 16 of them were also HCV RNA positive. The majority of anti-HCV positive patients with or without HCV RNA had elevated serum ALT levels 13 years after onset of their acute hepatitis C. After 13 years follow-up, 1.6% of the patients had died of end-stage liver disease, 8% of anti-HCV positive patients had histologically confirmed liver cirrhosis, 79% of anti-HCV positive patients were judged to have chronic infection, whereas 21% seemed to have recovered. To conclude, we found that a majority of our patients with acute symptomatic hepatitis C continued to be viraemic 13 years after onset of hepatitis C, and that all continued to be anti-HCV positive by second-generation ELISA.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / immunology*
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / analysis*
  • Hepatitis C / enzymology
  • Hepatitis C / immunology*
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • RNA, Viral / analysis


  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • RNA, Viral
  • Alanine Transaminase