Prevalence of hepatitis C among haemodialysis patients in a tertiary care hospital in south India
Background and Objectives: Hepatitis C is the most common hepatotropic viral infection that affects patients on maintenance hemodialysis. Most of the laboratories in India depend on HCV antibody detection by ELISA. PCR based studies on detection of HCV RNA among haemodialysis patients are very scanty in India. The current study was undertaken to find the prevalence of HCV among haemodialysis patients by ELISA and PCR.
Materials and Methods: This prospective study was conducted from January to May 2018 in a total of 100 samples. Patients more than 18 years of age, who had undergone at least 15 sessions of dialysis were enrolled in the study. All samples were screened for HCV antibody by ELISA and HCV RNA by PCR. Data regarding age and gender of the patients, history of blood transfusion, duration of hemodialysis, total bilirubin levels were collected from medical records.
Results: Among the 100 samples, only one was positive for HCV antibody by ELISA. Eight samples were positive for HCV RNA by PCR. In this study 62.5% of the HCV positives had a previous history of blood transfusion. Duration of dialysis was more among the HCV positive group but there was no statistical significance.
Conclusion: This is the first study from the southern state of Kerala in India showing the prevalence of HCV among hemodialysis patients by PCR. Our study showed an overall HCV prevalence of 8% by PCR. All the PCR positive samples were negative by 3rd generation ELISA which is an alarming finding and further justifies the need for PCR for detecting HCV.
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