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Viral exposure and abnormal liver function in haemophilia.
  1. B A McVerry,
  2. M G Ross,
  3. W A Knowles,
  4. J Voke

    Abstract

    Several studies have recently documented the presence of persistently abnormal liver function tests in asymptomatic haemophiliacs. While the aetiology is unknown it is possible that repeated exposure to agents transmitted in blood products may be important. This study has attempted to determine the prevalence of viral exposure and its relationship to liver function in this multitransfused group of individuals. The prevalence of viral antibodies with the exception of antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) was normal when compared to that in the general population. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) was not detected, but anti-HBs was found in 83% of patients; 50% of patients had abnormal liver function. However, liver function tests were normal in all patients with mild haemophilia and were only rarely abnormal in patients who had no detectable antibody to CMV, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and HBsAg. This study demonstrates that multiple transfusions of blood products, that is, cryoprecipitate and factor concentrates, do not increase the risk of exposure to the viruses studied with the exception of hepatitis B virus.

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