Clinical and virologic features of hepatitis C virus infection associated with intravenous immunoglobulin.Pediatrics 1996; 98(2 Pt 1):211-5Ped
To characterize the clinical features of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection associated with the administration of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) in patients with varied immunodeficiencies.
Prospective collection of clinical and virologic data in patients determined to have HCV exposure associated with Gammagard.
Outpatient department of Children's Hospital, Boston.
Twenty-one patients with evidence of HCV infection were identified during a screening program initiated to detect infection in exposed individuals. They ranged from 5 to 53 years of age; 14 were children under age 18.
Six patients presented with severe clinical hepatitis before detection by screening, 13 were detected by screening only, and 2 were first detected by screening and subsequently developed symptomatic hepatitis. Follow-up is available on 20 patients; 4 without viremia at identification have remained clinically well. Hepatitis and viremia have resolved in 2, 2 additional subjects have developed normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) values with persistent viremia, and 13 have biochemical and/or virologic evidence of chronic hepatitis. Eight patients (7 children) have undergone liver biopsies; 7 have histologic findings of chronic hepatitis, 5 have mild fibrosis, and 2 have moderate fibrosis. HCV genotypes 1a and 1b were observed with equal frequency in this group.
Some HCV infections associated with IVIG had a more severe, acute course than is ordinarily described. This may be attributable to host factors, such as immunodeficiencies, or virologic factors, such as inoculum or genotype. Although a large percentage (87.5%) of these individuals developed chronic infection, the natural history is not as yet completely defined.