Our aim was to study the characteristics of hepatitis G virus (HGV) infection in hemodialysis (HD) patients. We evaluated 108 patients from two different units (A: 67 patients; B: 41 patients). HGV RNA and HCV RNA were detected by PCR. Nineteen patients (17.6%) were HGV RNA positive (20.9% in unit A and 12.2% in unit B (NS)). HCV RNA was positive in 19 patients (17.6%) (28.4% in unit A and 0 in unit B (p < 0.01)). Eight patients were HGV RNA and HCV RNA positive (group I), 11 HGV RNA positive (group II), 11 HCV RNA positive (group III), and 78 negative for both viruses (group IV). Time on HD was 51.3 +/- 37.0 months for group I, 36.0 +/- 27.9 months for group II, 63.5 +/- 40.2 months for group III, and 26.4 +/- 27.1 months for group IV (p < 0.01 for I and III). Seven patients (87.5%) from group I, 9 (81.8%) from group II, 10 (90.9%) from group III, and 44 (56.4%) from group IV had a history of transfusion (p < 0.03 for I, II and III). Two patients (25%) from group I, none from group II, 5 (45.4%) from group III, and 6 (7.7%) from group IV had chronic ALAT elevation (p < 0.01 for I and III). We conclude that HGV infection was frequent in our HD patients, related to transfusions and independent of HCV prevalence, and that HGV infection itself was not a cause of ALAT elevation suggesting chronic hepatitis.