BACKGROUND: Despite blood donor screening, there are still cases of transfusion‐associated hepatitis. From 1988 to 1992, a prospective study was conducted on the incidence of non‐A, non‐B posttransfusion hepatitis (PTH). STUDY DESIGN: The present investigation was designed to determine if transfusion recipients with PTH who are negative for hepatitis C virus (HCV) were positive for hepatitis G virus (HGV). Patients admitted for surgery who had normal liver tests and no transfusions during the previous 6 months were enrolled. Alanine amino transferase levels were determined monthly for 6 months after surgery and for 1 year in the case of PTH (defined as alanine aminotranferase twice the upper limit of normal in two consecutive assays). HGV RNA and E2 antibodies were tested for in samples from transfusion recipients with or without PTH and from nontransfused patients. RESULTS: Of the 308 blood recipients who were enrolled in the study, 21 (6.8%) had PTH. HGV RNA was detected at the onset of hepatitis in 3 patients with PTH (14%), 2 of whom were also anti‐HCV and HCV RNA positive. One patient developed E2 antibodies without detectable HGV RNA. Three (10.7%) of 28 recipients of an allogeneic transfusion without PTH developed HGV infection. HGV RNA was also found in two nontransfused patients, which suggests nosocomial transmission of HGV. CONCLUSION: Some cases of PTH are associated with HGV; most cases of postoperative HGV infection are not associated with liver abnormalities; and most PTH cases are not associated with known hepatotropic viruses.
Transfusion – Wiley
Published: Nov 12, 1998
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