Hepatitis infection in haemodialysis patients


Dr Chiu-Ching Huang, Department of Nephrol-ogy, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, 199, Tung Hwa North Road, Taipei, Taiwan. Email: cg0022@adm.cgmh.org.tw


SUMMARY: Known hepatitis infections among haemodialysis patients include hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis G and TT virus. Haemodialysis patients with hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C infection may progress to develop significant morbidity, such as cirrhosis, hepatitic failure or hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis B infection may be treated with α-interferon or lamivudine. Hepatitis C infection may be treated with α-interferon, but frequent severe adverse effects were observed, while ribavirin is contraindicated for patients with renal failure. Treatment for hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C are costly, and the risk of post-transplant reactivation of hepatitis has been reported. Prevention of nosocomial transmission of hepatitis infection with strict infection control and universal precautions is more important. Accumulating evidence suggests that both hepatitis G virus and TT virus (TTV) are not significant causes of liver disease. Routine screening for hepatitis G or TTV viraemia in haemodialysis patients is not indicated at present.