The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in infants and children after liver transplantation

Michael J. Nowicki, Nafees Ahmad, James E. Heubi, I. Kenneth Kuramoto, Bahige M. Baroudy, William F. Balistreri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an important cause of liver injury following liver transplantation in adults. We hypothesized that the prevalence of HCV infection in children following liver transplantation would be lower than the prevalence in adults after liver transplantation because HCV-related liver disease leading to liver transplantation in children is low and children require less blood products than adults during transplantation. We therefore performed a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of HCV infection in children who had undergone liver transplantation. Serum samples were obtained from 62 of 65 (95.4%) consecutive patients surviving for more than six months after transplantation. Using a second-generation enzyme-linked, immunosorbent assay (ELISA-2) and a second-generation recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA-II), antibodies to HCV were detected in 5.1% (3 of 59) of the subjects. Using a single-step, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), HCV RNA was detected in 6.2% (4 of 62). All HCV-positive children had undergone liver transplantation before the initiation of routine screening for HCV in blood donors; overall 30 patients were transplanted prior to routine screening of blood products for HCV. The prevalence of HCV in infants and children after liver transplantation in our study is substantially less than the rates reported in adults. This difference may be due, in part, to the lower volume of blood product exposure and to the fact that children, as opposed to adults, rarely have chronic HCV infection as a cause of end-stage liver disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2250-2254
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1994


  • hepatitis C virus
  • liver transplantation
  • pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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