Viral Hepatitis C in Thalassaemia: Determination of Antibody HCV Frequency in Mutitransfused Thalassaemia Patients
Background: Thalassemias are a group of genetic blood diseases. These patients are blood transfusion dependent because of genetic inability to produce hemoglobin according to body needs. Due to repeated transfusions, these patients are vulnerable to HCV, HBV and HIV like blood transmitted diseases. The purpose of this study is to determine post transfusion HCV frequency in these patients. Objective: To assess prevalence of antibody HCV in multi-transfused Thalassaemia patients. Study Setting: The study was conducted at Thalassaemia Center, DHQ Hospital Faisalabad located in Central Punjab, Pakistan. The record of the Thalassemia children registered in this center during 1st Jan 2012 to 31st Dec 2014 was reviewed. Study Design / Methodology: A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted on 416 Thalassemia children registered in Thalassemia Center DHQ Hospital Faisalabad. Out of these 379 children were included while 37 excluded due to incomplete record. The demographic data, blood transfusion history and lab tests details were taken from patient files. The HCV diagnostic laboratory techniques used were Rapid manual, confirmed by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELIZA). Results: Out of 379 Thalassemia patients, HCV positive found were 123 (32.45%). The study population age was in range of 1- 19years while age range of HCV affected group was 5-19 years. Out of total 379, male were 235 (62%) and female were 144 (38%) while in total 123 HCV affected group 82 (66.67%) were male and 41 (33.33%) female. In total of 379 Thalassemic children having multiple transfusions, 123 (32.45%) were HCV +ve . Among 353 Thalassemic children having positive blood groups, 111 (31.44%) were HCV +ve while 12 (46.15%) were HCV +ve in 26 children with negative blood groups. Among 235 male, 82 (34.89%) were HCV +ve and 41 (28.47%) HCV +ve in 144 female children. Hepatomegaly was 75% in HCV +ve while 65% in HCV –ve groups. The splenomegaly was almost 80% in all groups. Conclusion: Despite use of screened blood transfusions in this center, still there is alarming proportion of HCV affected blood receiving patients. In this study Antibody HCV prevalence was higher (46.15%) in Thalassemic children with negative blood groups than (31.44%) positive group children. In total HCV +ve patients, 2/3 (66.67%) were male and 1/3 (33.33%) female group. This study warrants attention to improve HCV diagnostic and instrument sterilization techniques to minimize the risk of HCV infection.