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      Hepatitis C in Hemodialysis Patients: Current Global Magnitude, Natural History, Diagnostic Difficulties, and Preventive Measures

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          Abstract

          Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis (HD) patients. The reported prevalence of HCV among the HD population has varied greatly from 1.9 to 84.6% in different countries in recent years. The length of time on HD is generally believed to be associated with HCV acquisition in HD subjects. Nevertheless, several recent reports failed to recognize any significant role of blood transfusion. Although there are some considerations about the accuracy of serologic testing in detecting HCV in HD patients, the accumulated data in this review suggest the false-negativity rate to be not more than 1.66% (153/9,220). Therefore, substituting virologic for serologic testing in the routine diagnosis of HCV infection in HD patients seems unreasonable. Several phylogenetic analyzes of viral isolates suggested nosocomial patient-to-patient transmission of HCV among HD patients for which the main potential source is believed to be contaminated hands and articles. However, isolation of HCV-infected HD patients and use of dedicated machines are currently unjustified while strict adherence to universal precautions seems to be enough to control disease spread in HD units. The present article is an update on epidemiological and clinical features of HCV in HD population.

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          Most cited references 112

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          Diagnosis, management, and treatment of hepatitis C.

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            Patterns of hepatitis C prevalence and seroconversion in hemodialysis units from three continents: the DOPPS.

            Hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains a problem within hemodialysis units. This study measures HCV prevalence and seroconversion rates across seven countries and investigates associations with facility-level practice patterns. The study sample was from the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS), a prospective, observational study of adult hemodialysis patients randomly selected from 308 representative dialysis facilities in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Logistic regression was used to model odds of HCV prevalence, and Cox regression was used to model time from study entry to HCV seroconversion. Mean HCV facility prevalence was 13.5% and varied among countries from 2.6% to 22.9%. Increased HCV prevalence was associated with longer time on dialysis, male gender, black race, diabetes, hepatitis B (HBV) infection, prior renal transplant, and alcohol or substance abuse in the previous 12 months. Approximately half of the facilities (55.6%) had no seroconversions during the study period. HCV seroconversion was associated with longer time on dialysis, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), HBV infection, and recurrent cellulitis or gangrene. An increase in highly trained staff was associated with lower HCV prevalence (OR = 0.93 per 10% increase, P= 0.003) and risk of seroconversion (RR = 0.92, P= 0.07). Seroconversion was associated with an increase in facility HCV prevalence (RR = 1.36, P < 0.0001), but not with isolation of HCV-infected patients (RR = 1.01, P= 0.99). There are differences in HCV prevalence and rate of seroconversion at the country and the hemodialysis facility level. The observed variation suggests opportunities for improved HCV outcomes.
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              Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis associated with hepatitis C virus infection.

              Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes both acute and chronic liver disease and is also associated with mixed cryoglobulinemia. Whether HCV is also associated with renal disease, as is the hepatitis B virus, is not known. We describe the clinical, pathologic, virologic, and immunologic features of eight patients with HCV infection who were referred to nephrologists for glomerulonephritis. Four patients were treated with interferon alfa. All eight patients had proteinuria, and seven had decreased renal function. Renal biopsy in all patients revealed membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, characterized by the deposition of IgG, IgM, and C3 in glomeruli. Electron microscopy of the biopsy specimens showed cryoglobulin-like structures in three of four patients. All eight patients had HCV RNA detected in their serum, elevated serum aminotransferase concentrations, and hypocomplementemia, and the majority had cryoglobulins and circulating immune complexes in their serum. Cryoprecipitates from the three patients who were tested contained HCV RNA and IgG anti-HCV antibodies to the nucleocapsid core antigen (HCVc or c22-3). IgM rheumatoid factors, present in all patients, bound anti-HCV IgG in all six patients tested. Four patients received interferon alfa for 2 to 12 months; all had evidence of decreased HCV replication and improvement of their renal and liver disease. Chronic HCV infection is associated with cryoglobulinemia and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. The pathogenesis is unknown, but may relate to deposition within glomeruli of immune complexes containing HCV, anti-HCV IgG, and IgM rheumatoid factors.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                AJN
                Am J Nephrol
                10.1159/issn.0250-8095
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                0250-8095
                1421-9670
                2008
                June 2008
                19 February 2008
                : 28
                : 4
                : 628-640
                Affiliations
                aUrology and Nephrology Research Center, Shaheed Labbafinejad Medical Center, Shahid Beheshti University, M.C., bUrology and Nephrology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University, M.C., and cBaqiyatallah Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Health Deputy, Tehran, I.R. Iran
                Article
                117573 Am J Nephrol 2008;28:628–640
                10.1159/000117573
                18285684
                © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, References: 157, Pages: 13
                Categories
                In-Depth Topic Review

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