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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 79-83

Hepatitis C virus infection in patients with sickle cell anaemia at the Lagos University Hospital

Department of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, P.M.B. 12003, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O A Lesi
Department of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, P.M.B. 12003, Idi-Araba, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The objective of this studies is to determine the frequency of antibodies to Hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV), (2) assess the role of blood transfusion in transmission of infection, and (3) evaluate the clinical implication of anti-HCV sero-positivity in patients with Sickle cell anaemia (SCA). Two hundred and seventy-eight (278) patients with SCA were evaluated by questionnaire interviews for risk factors, clinical examination and serum testing for anti-HCV using a third generation ELISA kit. The overall anti-HCV prevalence was 5.0% (14/278). Anti-HCV was positive in 7% (5/76) of never transfused compared with 5% (9/202) of previously transfused sicklers. (p = 0.5). Clinically, splenomegaly alone or in combination with hepatomegaly was associated with a positive anti-HCV (p = 0.04 and 0.01 respectively). Anti-HCV was detected in 5% of adult patients with Sickle cell anaemia, especially in patients with persistent splenomegaly alone or in combination with hepatomegaly. Blood transfusion did not appear to be the major route of HCV transmission.

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