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Chronic hepatitis C in long term survivors of haematological malignancy treated in a single centre.
  1. J R Neilson,
  2. P Harrison,
  3. S J Skidmore,
  4. J A King,
  5. K E Collingham,
  6. D W Milligan
  1. Department of Haematology, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital.

    Abstract

    AIMS: To investigate the impact of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in long term survivors of haematological malignancy treated before the introduction of blood donor screening in September 1991. METHOD: Patients were tested for evidence of HCV infection by third generation enzyme linked immunosorbent assays, a recombinant immunoblot assay and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Serum aspartate aminotransferase activities were measured. The number and type of blood component units received by each patient were recorded. RESULTS: Forty two patients were studied who had received a total of 7143 blood component units. Two patients (4.8%) were found to have HCV infection, both had histological evidence of chronic active hepatitis, and one is now receiving treatment with alpha-interferon. Both of these patients had been missed by the ongoing look-back programme which aims to detect recipients of all known HCV infected blood components. CONCLUSION: Although HCV infection affects a minority of long term survivors of haematological malignancy, infected patients may benefit from alpha-interferon treatment. The screening of all patients treated for haematological malignancy before September 1991 is advocated.

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