Usman Rashid, Asif Ibrahim, Faisal Zafar, Attia Bari.
Frequency of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Multi-Transfused Thalassemia Major Patients.
Pak Paed J Jan ;41(2):75-9.

Objective: To determine the frequency of HCV and HBV infection in multi-transfused thalassemia major patient. Study design: Cross sectional observational study. Place and Duration of study: Hematology and Oncology Department of Children’s Hospital, Lahore, in a period of 6 month from 11-01-14 to 10-06-14. Patients and Methods: For this study, 130 patients of thalassemia major fulfilling the inclusion and exclusion criteria were enrolled. Demographical profile including age, gender, and hospital registration no. were recorded. Informed verbal consent was obtained from guardian of each child .Investigations like HBsAg and anti-HCV antibodies through ELISA were done. Results: Among the enrolled 130 patients mean age of the patients was observed 9.7 ± 4.3 years. Male to female ratio was 1.2:1. Hepatitis B was found in 8 (6.2%) patients and hepatitis C in 27 (20.8%) patients while 95 (73.0%) cases were negative for hepatitis B & C. 20 (15.3%) patients had 10-20 red cells concentrate (RCC) transfusions, 27 (20.8%) patients had 21-30 RCC transfusions and 83 (63.9%) patients had > 30 RCC transfusions. Children receiving >20 transfusion were more prone to develop hepatitis B and C (n= 31) than children with transfusion less than 20 (n=4) which is statistically significant p <0.05. Conclusion: Hepatitis B and C were found to be common in Thalassemia patients in our setup. Hepatitis C was more prevalent than hepatitis B in thalassemia major patients. Hepatitis B and C were more common in patients with more than 20 RCC transfusions. Therefore, it is recommended that standardized blood screening procedures should be done for transmissible disease so that acute and chronic complications can be prevented. Efficient screening program, timely vaccination and improved public awareness about thalassemia transfusion therapy in developing countries are the major pillars for decreasing the transmission of Hepatitis B & C and hence decrease the socioeconomic burden on the family and society.

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