High percentage of seronegative HCV infections in hemodialysis patients: the need for PCR

Intervirology. 1997;40(4):277-8. doi: 10.1159/000150558.


Among patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis, a high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can be observed. In a prospective study, sera of 273 patients were examined for the presence of HCV infection by serological tests and by PCR. Thirty-five patients (12.8%) were HCV antibody positive, and in 31 of them HCV RNA could be detected by PCR. Among the 238 seronegative patients HCV infection was detected in 12 cases (5.0%) exclusively by PCR. Only in 1 of these patients seroconversion could be observed within the 18-month follow-up period. These findings demonstrate that in hemodialysis patients PCR is necessary for the diagnosis of HCV infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis C / blood
  • Hepatitis C / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C / immunology
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Serologic Tests


  • Hepatitis Antibodies