Volume 29, Issue 3 (9-2005)                   Research in Medicine 2005, 29(3): 213-217 | Back to browse issues page

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Abstract:   (16512 Views)

Background: Patients with thalassemia major are classified as high risk group for blood-born viral infection due to multiple transfusions. We investigated the frequency of hepatitis C virus among thalassemic patients referring to Mofid Hospital in 2002. Meanwhile, the association between HCV infection and liver enzyme level was determined.

Methods : During this retrospective study, 110 patients who had referred for transfusion to our department were included. Initial data including anti-HCV, HCV-RNA (if anti-HCV was positive), alanine transferase, aspartate transferase, and ferritin were gathered.

Results : Anti-HCV was positive in 13 (11.8%) subjects among whom 11 (84.6%) were positive for HCV-RNA. All transfusions had been achieved prior to the National Program of Blood Product Screening for HCV (in Iran ) that was commenced in 1996. Anti-HCV positive subjects revealed to have significantly higher ALT level (p=0.03), meanwhile, elevated liver enzyme (regardless of anti-HCV status) was more frequently found among patients with increased level of ferritin (p<0.001).

Conclusion : Frequency of HCV was dramatically decreased among thalassemic patients following the screening program in 1996. However, routine investigations are still advisable. Iron overload due to multiple transfusions may contribute to impaired liver enzymes.

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