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High false‐negative rate of anti‐HCV among Egyptian patients on regular hemodialysis

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Routine serological testing for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among hemodialysis (HD) patients is currently recommended. A dilemma existed on the value of serology because some investigators reported a high rate of false‐negative serologic testing. In this study, we aimed to detect the false‐negative rate of anti‐HCV among Egyptian HD patients. Seventy‐eight HD patients, negative for anti‐HCV, anti‐HIV, and hepatitis B surface antigen, were tested for HCV RNA by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT‐PCR). In the next step, the viral load was quantified by real‐time PCR in RT‐PCR‐positive patients. Risk factors for HCV infection, as well as clinical and biochemical indicators of liver disease, were compared between false‐negative and true‐negative anti‐HCV HD patients. The frequency of false‐negative anti‐HCV was 17.9%. Frequency of blood transfusion, duration of HD, dialysis at multiple centers, and diabetes mellitus were not identified as risk factors for HCV infection. The frequency of false‐negative results had a linear relation to the prevalence of HCV infection in the HD units. Timely identification of HCV within dialysis units is needed in order to lower the risk of HCV spread within the HD units. The high false‐negative rate of anti‐HCV among HD patients in our study justifies testing of a large scale of patients for precious assessment of effectiveness of nucleic acid amplification technology testing in screening HD patient.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2012


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