Authors:Enikő Sárváry, Zs. Gerlei, E. Dinya, E. Tóth, M. Varga, R. Chmel, M. Molnar, A. Remport, B. Nemes, L. Kobori, D. Görög, J. Fazakas, I. Gaal, J. Járay, F. Perner and R. Langer
Patients on hemodialysis (HD) and renal transplant recipients (RT) have a high prevalence of HCV infection. The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence of HCV-RNA in the anti-HCV positive patients and to compare the biochemical parameters of PCR(+) and PCR(−) subgroups. Methods: The 525 sera were screened for anti-HCV. HCV-RNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and liver enzymes [SGOT, SGPT, GGT, α-glutathione S-transferase (GST)] were measured. Results: Active viraemia was found only in 187 of 289 (65%) seropositive HD patients in contrast to 53 of 53 (100%) of seropositive RT patients. Significantly increased (p<0.05) GST values (9.9 μg/l) were found in the PCR(+) subgroups compared to GST levels (2.7 μg/l) of the PCR(−) subgroups. Elevated GST concentration was found in 80% (208/251) of PCR(+) patients. The measured enzymes were not elevated in HCV infected patients. Six percent of HD and 11% of RT patients were screened before seroconversion. Diagnostic sensitivity (80%) and specificity (79%) of GST were calculated as good for early liver damage caused by HCV. In contrast, the sensitivity of the measurement of other liver enzymes were very weak (SGOT: 8%; SGPT: 10%; GGT: 42%). Conclusion: The significantly higher viraemia of the RT subgroup could be related to the immunosuppressive therapy. Increased GST level may be a useful indicator of tissue damage during HCV infection. If HCV infection is suspected, PCR and GST measurement should be performed, even if anti-HCV result is negative.