Effects of hepatitis C virus infection on haematocrite and haemoglobin levels in Egyptian hemodialysis patients
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Mansoura University, Mansoura Urology and Nephrology Center, Nephrology and Internal Medicine Departments, Egypt
Menuifiya University, Faculty of Medicine, Egypt
Online publication date: 2007-01-15
Publication date: 2007-01-15
Corresponding author
Alaa Sabry   

Lecturer of Nephrology, Mansoura Urology and Nephrology Center, Mansoura University, Egypt Tel: 20502262222, Fax 20502263717
Eur J Gen Med 2007;4(1):9-15
Aim: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is common among the Egyptians. This prevalence is higher among hemodialysis (HD) patients in whom anemia is a common finding. Recently, some case reports and few studies indicated that red cell status increased after hepatitis C viral infection among HD patients. The aim of our study is to investigate whether HCV-positive HD patients have higher hemoglobin (Hb) and hematocrit (HCT) values compared to HCV-negative patients. Methods: Ninety-nine chronic (HD) patients were the subject of this study. Their HCV status was determined by anti-HCV antibodies and confirmed with RNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Those with a history of blood transfusion or massive blood loss during the last 6 months were excluded from the study. Results: 70.7% of our patients tested positive for anti-HCV antibody (56.9 % were male). The mean age for HCV positive group was (40.41±14.17 years) while it was (47.35±19.18 years) for HCV negative group (P=0.08). HCV positive group has a longer hemodialysis duration (66.54 ± 43.92 months) compared to HCV negative patients (30.96±23.17 months, P=0.006). Mean Hb was similar in HCV-positive compared to HCV negative group (10.32±2.03 versus 10.22±1.52 gm/dl respectively) (P=0.63). Mean HCT values were also similar in both groups being 30.94± 6.089% in HCV positive versus 30.77± 4.53% in HCV negative group, respectively (P= 0.094). Fifty-five patients (39 HCV positive and 16 were HCV negative) received erythropoietin (EPO) therapy whilst only twenty patients received IV iron. Mean Erythropoietin dose was 5000±2236.06 Units/week in HCV- positive patients versus 6250±2720.29 Units /week in HCV - negative group (P=0.09). Liver function tests were normal except for alanine aminotransferase (ALT) that was significantly higher among HCV-positive compared to HCV-negative patients (31.75±36.4 vs 15.1±7.21 U/L, P=0.05). Conclusion: HCV-positive and HCV-negative Egyptian chronic hemodialysis patients have comparable hemoglobin as well as hematocrit levels and the erythropoietin dose was not influential as its lower value in HCV-positive patients did not reach a statistically significant level.
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