δ Agent Infection in Patients with Chronic Liver Diseases and Hepatocellular Carcinoma-An Infrequent Finding in Taiwan

Authors

  • Ding-Shinn Chen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan 100, Republic of China
    • Ding-Shinn Chen, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, 1 Chang-Te Street, Taipei, Taiwan 100, Republic of China.
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  • Ming-Yang Lai,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan 100, Republic of China
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  • Juei-Low Sung

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan 100, Republic of China
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Abstract

Taiwanese have a high prevalence of HBsAg carrier rate and chronic liver diseases. To evaluate the role of delta (δ) agent infection in our patients, 45 HBsAg-positive patients with chronic active hepatitis, 4 with chronic persistent hepatitis and 11 with HBsAg-positive hepatocellular carcinoma were studied for δ antibody by radioimmunoassay of serum; liver was studied for δ antigen by immunofluorescence in 23 patients. δ Antibody was only found in three patients with chronic active hepatitis (6.7%); the prevalence was 5% in HBsAg-positive chronic liver diseases and hepatocellular carcinoma. None of the liver specimens studied had δ antigen. The study indicates that δ agent infection does not seem to play an important role in chronic liver diseases and hepatocarcinoma in Chinese who live in Taiwan, despite a high prevalence of chronic hepatitis B virus infection.

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