PREVALENCE OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS INFECTION AMONG CHILDREN WITH BETA THALASSEMIA MAJOR IN SULAIMANI 

Karzan Mohammed Hasan a, Jamal Ahmad Rashid b, and Ibrahim Khasraw Ghafoor c



a Rauf Bag Hospital, DOH of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. 
b College of Medicine, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.
c Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.
 
 

Submitted: 6/8/2019; Accepted: 19/2/2020; Published: 21/3/2020

ABSTRACT


Background 

Hepatitis C infection is a worldwide problem, especially in multi transfused patients including those with Thalassemia. Thalassemia is one of the inherited diseases, in which there is partial or complete failure of globin chain synthesis.


Objectives 

To evaluate the prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in multiple blood transfused children with beta-thalassemia major and related risk factors.


Patients and Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted on 459 patients (229 males and 230 females) with β-thalassemia major at Sulaimani thalassemia centre from January 2015 to June 2015. Data regarding age, sex, number of blood transfusions, chelating agents and history of splenectomy were obtained. Serum was used for detection of antibodies against hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B surface antibody, hepatitis B surface antigen and, human immunodeficiency virus, also in liver enzymes (Aspartate aminotransferase, Alanine aminotransferase) were checked. 


Results

Sixty-four (13.9%) patients were found to be seropositive for anti-Hepatitis C virus antibodies; this was correlated with age, sex, history of splenectomy, number of blood transfusions and chelating agents. Liver enzymes were significantly higher in infected patients. The risk of exposure to hepatitis C virus was higher than the hepatitis B virus surface antigen and human immunodeficiency virus among the same patients.


Conclusion

Multi transfused thalassemic patients are at high risk for HCV infection, so more accurate techniques for screening of blood products is suggested.



KEYWORDS

Hepatitis C virus, Thalassemia major, Prevalence.