Muhamamd Akram, Younas Bajwa, Nawaz Ch, Muhammad Asif.
Multiple transfusions;frequency of anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) in children.
Professional Med J Jan ;20(5):684-7.

Background: Multiple transfusions in patients of thalassemia who are conventionally treated by a regular transfusion regimen. Though regular blood transfusion improves the overall survival of patients with thalassemia, it carries a definite risk of infection with blood-borne viruses. The present study was carried out to estimate the real frequency of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among Pakistani thalassemic patients, and determine the infection-associated risk factors in these patients. Objective: To determine the frequency of anti-HCV in children with multiple transfusions. Setting: Shalimar Hospital, Lahore. The samples were collected from Children Hospital, Mayo Hospital and Fatimid Foundation; Lahore. Period: June 2012 to Nov 212. Subjects & Methods: One hundred blood samples were collected from the children with multiple transfusions. Two to three ml of blood was taken from each multiply transfused child who had received more than two blood transfusions. Serum was separated from each sample by centrifugation at 6000 rpm for 5 minutes. After serum separation, all the samples were stored at -80°C. The HCV antibody can be detected by anti-HCV Rapid Test but third or fourth generation enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is considered a better indicator of the seropositivity of this antibody. Results: The ages ranged from 6 months to >12 years. The mean age of children in the study was 6.17±4.13 years. There were 70 were males and 30 were females. Male to female ratio is 2.3:1. There are 58 thalassemic children, 27 different types of leukemia and 11 are aplastic anemia. Two children are with neuroblastoma while one each with thrombobasthenia and CDA-1. Conclusions: We concluded that a very high HCV prevalence which calls for adoption of stricter donor selection criteria, rigid implementation of quality control measures and use of more sensitive and specific techniques for HCV testing.

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