Risk of Post Transfusion Hepatitis C Virus Infection
To determine the risk of transfusion-transmitted hepatitis C virus (HCV) in cardiac surgery patients before and after donor screening for anti-HCV and surrogate markers of non-A, non-B hepatitis (NANBH). Also, to characterize donors who were HCV seronegative and who lacked surrogate markers at the time of donation, but whose recipient seroconverted to HCV.
Hepatitis, Viral, Human
|Study Design:||Observational Model: Natural History|
|Study Start Date:||February 1992|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||April 1994|
In the early 1990s, posttransfusion NANBH, mainly caused by HCV, was the most common serious complication of transfusions, occurring in 2-5 percent of transfusion recipients. About 50 percent of those infected developed chronic hepatitis, of whom, 10 to 20 percent developed cirrhosis. Hepatocellular carcinoma had been reported to occur in some. This study provided the first evaluation of the effectiveness of donor screening for anti-HCV by the then recently licensed HCV antibody test and surrogate markers of NANBH. It also provided a precise estimate of the risk of transfusion-transmitted HCV. The results allowed examination of risk factors for HCV infected donors who were seronegative at the time of donation.
The study was a nonconcurrent prospective, seroepidemiologic study. To estimate the incidence of HCV infection, six-month postoperative serum samples were tested for antibody to HCV. Preoperative samples corresponding to positive postoperative sera were also tested. The donors of a patient who received blood screened for HCV, i.e., a donation since May, 1990, and seroconverted in the six months since transfusion were located and retested for antibodies to HCV. The donors were administered a questionnaire designed to ascertain risk factors for HCV infection. A sample of donors who were HCV positive at the time of donation were given the same questionnaire. Comparison of these three groups of donors (i.e., seropositives, donors tested negative but implicated in seroconversion, seronegatives) allowed an investigation of factors associated with false negative screening results. Analytical methods included standard methods for contingency tables and both conditional and unconditional logistic regression.