Prospective controlled study of post-transfusion hepatitis after cardiac surgery in a large referral hospital in India.Live
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We studied the risk of post-transfusion hepatitis (PTH) in recipients of blood collected from voluntary donors screened for HBsAg. Two hundred and fifty patients without any previous history of liver disease or transfusion were followed up for 12 months subsequent to cardiac surgery. Thirty-five of them had closed-heart surgery without receiving transfusion and served as controls. The remaining 215 patients received single-point transfusions (mean 4 +/- 2.4 units). None of the controls and 15 (6.9%) blood recipients developed PTH. Three (20%) patients had hepatitis-B-virus-induced hepatitis while the remainder (80%) had non A, non B (NANB) hepatitis. The number of units of blood transfused and surrogate markers for development of PTH (donor alanine aminotransferase, anti-HBc and anti-HBs antibody) were not associated with the occurrence of PTH (p greater than 0.05). Nine (60%) of the 15 patients developing PTH were asymptomatic. All the patients recovered from the PTH, except one who died of fulminant hepatitis. At the end of 1 year of follow-up, none of the patients had evidence of chronic hepatitis. Only three (25%) of the patients with NANB-PTH developed anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody during the follow-up. We conclude that the incidence of PTH in India is similar to other parts of the world and NANB virus was the major cause of the PTH. The absence of chronicity and lack of seroconversion to anti-HCV antibody in the majority of the patients after 1 year of follow-up may suggest the possibility of a NANB virus other than HCV as the major cause of PTH in India.