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Keywords:

  • Hemodialysis;
  • Hepatitis B virus;
  • Occult hepatitis B virus

Abstract

Hemodialysis patients potentially have an increased risk of infection with parenterally transmitted viral agents due to an impaired host immune response and multiple transfusion requirements. Viral hepatitis is considered as a problem for hemodialysis patients because 1.9% of all deaths among this population are related to the consequence of viral hepatitis. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the most important causes of transmitted infections by the parenteral route in hemodialysis patients. Occult HBV infection is characterized by presence of HBV infection without detectable hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), which harbors potential risk of HBV transmission through hemodialysis. There are conflicting reports on the prevalence of occult HBV infection (OBI) in hemodialysis patients. Considering the importance of occult HBV infection in hemodialysis patients and the growing evidence on this subject, the purpose of this review is to provide comprehensive information on OBI prevalence in hemodialysis patients and highlight the most important points in this issue.