Assessment of long-term outcomes of hepatitis C virus infection in a cohort of patients with acute hepatitis in 1971–1975: Results of a pilot study
Article first published online: 19 APR 2002
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 14, Issue 3, pages 269–273, March 1999
How to Cite
Rodger, A., Thomson, J., Thompson, S., Jolley, D., Mijch, A., Lanigan, A. and Crofts, N. (1999), Assessment of long-term outcomes of hepatitis C virus infection in a cohort of patients with acute hepatitis in 1971–1975: Results of a pilot study. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 14: 269–273. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1746.1999.01846.x
- Issue published online: 19 APR 2002
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2002
- hepatitis C virus;
- injecting drug use;
- liver disease;
- retrospective cohort
Background: To examine the long-term effects of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in a cohort of patients admitted to Fairfield Hospital with hepatitis from 1971 to 1975. The availability of stored sera from this time enabled testing to identify those who were anti-HCV positive on admission.
Methods: Sixteen per cent (n = 230) of the cohort tested positive for HCV antibody (anti-HCV). The ‘unexposed’ group was selected from those who were anti-HCV negative. Systematic approaches were used to locate the cohort and health outcomes assessed by a study specific questionnaire and clinical review with repeat serology and liver function tests.
Results: Complete follow up has been achieved on a subset of 35 HCV-seropositive and 70 seronegative individuals. The seropositive group was significantly more likely to have given a history of injecting drug use, the presumed route of infection. The seropositive group was also more likely to have elevated serum alanine aminotransferase levels, but only two (6%) were known to have progressed to cirrhosis.
Discussion: The anti-HCV-positive individuals followed up to date are at increased risk of liver-related pathology, but few had progressed to cirrhotic liver disease. This differs from findings of transfusion-related studies and suggests, within the limitations of the study, that the natural history of community acquired HCV may be more benign.