PREVALENCE OF ANTI HCV IN TRANSFUSION DEPENDENT THALASSEMIA MAJOR PATIENTS:- SINGLE CENTRE STUDY
Objective: Beta thalassemia major is a significant health problem in Pakistan, such patients are usually supported by chronic blood transfusion which may later complicates into transfusion transmitted infections of which HCV is the major concern. Determination of HCV prevalence in these patients will help in monitoring safety of blood transfusion in thalassemia centers. Taking into account these observations we determined HCV seropositivity among multi-transfused beta thalassemia patients registered at Fatimid Foundation Hyderabad.
Materials & Methods: It was a cross-sectional study carried out at Fatimid Foundation Hyderabad from January 2014 till June 2015. Total 292 transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia major patients of both genders were included who had received at least 10 or more transfusions with minimum age limit of 2.5 years in the study. Venous blood samples of patients were collected and tested for Anti HCV using Microparticle Enzyme Immunoassay (MEIA) technique on AxSYM machine with HCV version 3 kit.
Results: Out of 292 patients, 53 (18.2 %) were positive for anti HCV antibodies. Hepatitis C was found to be more prevalent in older age group and HCV seropositivity increased with increasing number of transfusions.
Conclusion: Prevalence of Anti HCV among multi transfused patients was found to be high. Introduction of more specialized techniques such as NAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification testing) is therefore recommended to reduce the chances of transfusion transmitted infections.
Key Words: Thalassemia major, Multi-transfused, HCV, HCV antibodies.