11 December 2008
Because of the great problem of viral hepatitis in hemodialysis patients, the Italian Society of Nephrology decided to perform a national epidemiologic survey. We contacted 467 nephrological centers by a questionnaire which let us have information on 25,746 uremic patients: 18,338 on HD, 2,250 on PD and 5,176 with kidney transplant, respectively 78.5% of the total Italian dialysed patients and 91.4% of the total transplanted patients. Statistical analyses were performed. HBV infections occur in 7.8% of the patients (2,008 cases) but considering that 485 cases became spontaneously negative, the true overall incidence of chronic carriers falls to 4.9%. The main causes of the infection are reported as transfusions (64.3%) and dialysis environment (12%). The vaccination program performed by 93.2% of the centers, obtained an efficacious seroconversion in 4,626 of 7,790 cases vaccinated: the vaccine currently most utilized is the recombinant type administered by means of 3 versus 4 boosters. In the 2nd part of the survey, we report information concerning the presence of nephropaties associated with HBV infections in nonuremic patients (208 cases). We present and discuss the clinical picture of the nephropaties, the hystologic bioptic pattern and the prognosis of the kidney pathology.