Prevalence of hepatitis A, B, C and human immunodeficiency virus seropositivity among patients with acute icteric hepatitis at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi
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OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of hepatitis A, B, C and HIV seropositivity among patients with acute icteric hepatitis. DESIGN: Cross-sectional descriptive survey. SETTING: Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi. SUBJECTS: Eighty four patients aged above six months with a history of jaundice not exceeding six months were recruited. There were 47 males and 17 females with an age range of eight months to 67 years and a median age of 25 years. METHODS: History was obtained physical examination done and blood taken for determination of bilirubin, ALT, AST and ALP levels. Sera that had disproportionately greater transaminase than ALP elevation were assayed for IgM anti-HAV, IgM anti-HBc, HbsAg, anti-HCV and anti-HIV antibodies. RESULTS: Evidence of hepatitis A, B, and C was round in 41.7%, 26.2%, and 7.1% of the patients respectively, 13.1% of the patients were HBsAg carriers while 30.1% of all patients were HIV positive. Thirty two patients did not have evidence of hepatitis A, B, or C infection and this group was significantly associated with HIV infection (p = 0.003). CONCLUSION: Hepatitis A was the commonest overall type of acute icteric hepatitis seen at the KNH, and among patients aged 15 years and below. Hepatitis B was the leading identified cause of acute hepatitis among those aged over 15 years. Hepatitis C accounted for 7.1% of acute icteric hepatitis 30.1% of all patients and 50% of those admitted with acute hepatitis were also HIV positive.