The significance of antibody to hepatitis C virus in patients with chronic hepatitis B

Authors

  • Tse-Ling Fong M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Liver Diseases Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
    • Liver Diseases Section, National Institutes of Health, Building 10 Room 4D52, Bethesda, MD 20892
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  • Adrian M. Di Bisceglie,

    1. The Liver Diseases Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • Jeanne G. Waggoner,

    1. The Liver Diseases Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • Steven M. Banks,

    1. The Office of the Scientific Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • Jay H. Hoofnagle

    1. The Liver Diseases Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
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Abstract

We assessed the prevalence and clinical significance of antibodies to hepatitis C virus among a cohort of 148 patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection. Sixteen patients (11%) had anti-hepatitis C virus detectable by enzyme-linked immunoassay. The results from eight of these patients were positive by recombinant immunoblot assay. The results of recombinant immunoblot assay testing were not consistent; therefore the analysis of the patients' data was based on anti-hepatitis C virus enzyme-linked immunoassay results. Patients with chronic hepatitis B with anti-hepatitis C virus were more likely to be cirrhotic (44% vs. 21%) and to have decompensated liver disease (24% vs. 6%). Hepatitis B virus replication appeared to be suppressed in patients with both infections as measured by hepatitis B virus—associated DNA polymerase activity (mean = 2,055 vs. 2,555 cpm). Human immunodeficiency virus infection was more common in the anti-hepatitis C virus positive group (36% vs. 11%). Thus hepatitis C virus appears to suppress hepatitis B virus replication and to cause more severe liver disease in patients with chronic hepatitis B infection. (HEPATOLOGY 1991;14:64–67.)

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