Chronic hepatitis C virus infection after treatment for pediatric malignancy.Blood 1997; 90(3):1315-20Blood
Sera of 658 patients who had completed treatment for pediatric malignancy were analyzed by a second-generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and recombinant immunoblot assay test to assess the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-seropositivity. All HCV-seropositive patients underwent detailed clinical, laboratory, virologic, and histologic study to analyze the course of HCV infection. One hundred seventeen of the 658 patients (17.8%) were positive for HCV infection markers. Among the 117 anti-HCV+ patients, 41 (35%) were also positive for markers of hepatitis B virus infection with or without delta virus infection markers, 91 (77.8%) had previously received blood product transfusions, and 25 (21.4%) showed a normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level during the last 5-year follow-up (11 of them never had abnormal ALT levels). The remaining 92 patients showed ALT levels higher than the upper limit of normal range. Eighty-one of 117 (70%) anti-HCV+ patients were HCV-RNA+, with genotype 1b being present in most patients (54%). In univariate analysis, no risk factor for chronic liver disease was statistically significant. In this study, the prevalence of HCV infection was high in patients who were treated for a childhood malignancy. In about 20% of anti-HCV+ patients, routes other than blood transfusions are to be considered in the epidemiology of HCV infection. After a 14-year median follow-up, chronic liver disease of anti-HCV+ positive patients did not show progression to liver failure.