INCIDENCE OF NON-A, NON-B HEPATITIS AFTER SCREENING BLOOD-DONORS FOR ANTIBODIES TO HEPATITIS-C VIRUS AND SURROGATE MARKERS

JM BARRERA, M BRUGUERA, G ERCILLA, JM SANCHEZTAPIAS, M.P. GIL, C GIL, J COSTA, A GELABERT, J RODES, R CASTILLO

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Abstract

Objective: To compare the effect of screening blood donors for antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) on the incidence of non-A, non-B hepatitis in recipients with that of screening blood donors for antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) and elevated alanine aminotransferase levels.

Design: Cohort analysis of serum samples from donors and recipients. Recipients were followed for 12 months to determine the occurrence of non-A, non-B hepatitis.

Setting: The blood-transmitted viruses unit and the liver unit of a university teaching hospital.

Subjects: A total of 250 patients who had open heart surgery and their 3142 blood donors.

Measurements: Donor sera were tested for anti-HCV by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and, in the event of a positive result, by recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA). Antibodies to anti-HBc and serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels were also measured. Measurements of anti-HCV and ALT activity in recipients were done before transfusion and at regular intervals during follow-up.

Main Results: Of the 250 transfusion recipients, 40 developed non-A, non-B hepatitis. Of the 3142 donors, 70 were positive for anti-HCV by ELISA, 440 were positive for anti-HBc, and 177 had alanine aminotransferase levels between 0.67 and 1.33-mu-kat/L. The sensitivity (87%), specificity (89%), positive predictive value (59%), and negative predictive value (97%) of blood-donor screening were higher for anti-HCV than for anti-HBc (82%, 36%, 21%, and 91%, respectively) and for elevated alanine aminotransferase levels (65%, 70%, 29%, and 91%, respectively). The expected number of donors excluded because of the presence of anti-HCV was considerably smaller than that of donors with positive results for surrogate markers of hepatitis.

Conclusions: Screening blood donors for the presence of anti-HCV is more accurate than screening for surrogate markers (anti-HBc and ALT) and protects more effectively against post-transfusion non-A, non-B hepatitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-600
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Internal Medicine
Volume115
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 1991

Keywords

  • HEPATITIS, VIRAL, NON-A, NON-B
  • HEPATITIS-C VIRUS
  • HEPATITIS ANTIBODIES
  • BLOOD DONORS
  • BLOOD TRANSFUSION
  • TRANSFUSION-TRANSMITTED VIRUSES
  • CORE ANTIGEN
  • RECIPIENTS
  • EPIDEMIOLOGY
  • INFECTIVITY
  • AGENTS
  • ASSAY

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