Antibody to Hepatitis C Is Common among Patients with Alcoholic Liver Disease with and without Risk Factors

Stephen H. Caldwell, Lennox J. Jeffers, Antonio Ditomaso, Andrew Millar, Robert M. Clark, Alfredo Rabassa, K. Rajender Reddy, Maria De Medina, Eugene R. Schiff

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Abstract

Thirty-seven patients with clinically suspected alcoholic liver disease were retrospectively studied for the prevalence of antibody to hepatitis C virus (HCV) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunoblot assay. Twenty-four had biopsy-proven cirrhosis. Nineteen had identifiable risk factors for non-A, non-B viral hepatitis, and 18 did not. Five of 19 high-risk (26%) and 6 of 18 low-risk (33%) patients had positive antibody, compared with two of 179 healthy blood donors (p < 0.01 for either group of alcoholics compared with blood donors). Nine of 11 ELISA-positive patients were also either positive or indeterminable by immunoblot testing. Histologic scores for parameters commonly associated with chronic viral hepatitis were numerically worse among anti-HCV-positive patients, but none reached statistical significance. Clinically, seven of 11 (64%) of anti-HCV-positive patients versus 14 of 26 (54%) anti-HCV-negative patients were Child's class C. Among the 21 Child's class C patients, seven (33%) were anti-HCV-positive versus four of 16 (25%) of Child's class A/B patients. A weak correlation between IgG and ELISA optical density was observed (r = 0.52). We conclude that antibody to hepatitis C by ELISA and immunoblot is common among alcoholics with liver disease even in the absence of known or suspected risk factors for viral hepatitis. Although hepatitis C-positive patients tended to have more severe histologic disease, neither histologic parameters nor clinical findings were adequate to predict antibody seropositivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1219-1223
Number of pages5
JournalThe American journal of gastroenterology
Volume86
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1991

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Caldwell, S. H., Jeffers, L. J., Ditomaso, A., Millar, A., Clark, R. M., Rabassa, A., Reddy, K. R., De Medina, M., & Schiff, E. R. (1991). Antibody to Hepatitis C Is Common among Patients with Alcoholic Liver Disease with and without Risk Factors. The American journal of gastroenterology, 86(9), 1219-1223. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1572-0241.1991.tb07257.x