Low Prevalence of Hepatitis G Infection in Dialysis Patients
Doron Zamir, Shimon Shtorch, Chen Zamir, Zvi Fireman, Hilkiau Zonder
Internal Medicine Dept. A, Liver Clinic, Dialysis Unit and GI Unit, Hillel Yaffe Hospital and Hadera Subdistrict Health Office
Prevalence of hepatitis G virus (HGV) infection in the general western population ranges from 0.2-1.5%. In high-risk groups, such as patients with chronic liver disease, hematologic disorders and drug addicts, prevalence is as high as 10%-15%. Dialysis patients have increased rates of HGV infection (6%-50%).
We evaluated prevalence of HGV infection among dialysis patients, and the association between HGV infection and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Serum samples were screened for HGV infection by RT-PCR. Screening for HCV infection was performed by an EIA test and confirmed by RIBA and RT-PCR for HCV. Sera were also tested for HBV markers.
The study group included all 78 hemodialysis patients and 7 of the 12 peritoneal dialysis patients in our unit during September to November 1997. 4 (5.2%) were HGV-positive but none were peritoneal dialysis patients. 1 of the 12 HCV-positives was also infected with HGV. HGV infection was not associated with duration of dialysis, number of blood transfusions or levels of transaminases.
Prevalence of HGV infection among our hemodialysis patients was low (5.2%), but higher than reported for the general population. Prevalence of HGV/HCV infection in hemodialysis patients was low and unrelated to duration of dialysis, number of blood transfusions and levels of transaminases.