Hepatitis C Virus in Alcoholic Patients with and without Clinically Apparent Liver Disease

M. E. Coelho‐Little, L. J. Jeffers, D. E. Bernstein, J. J. Goodman, K. R. Reddy, M. de Medina, X. Li, M. Hill, S. La Rue, E. R. Schiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


A high prevalence of antibodies to the hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) has been demonstrated among patients with alcoholic liver disease, whereas the prevalence of HCV viremia in these patients remains uncertain. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of anti-HCV in alcoholic patients both with and without clinically apparent liver disease and to determine the presence of HCV RNA in those patients who tested positive for anti-HCV by RIBA II (Chiron Corporation, Emeryville, CA). One hundred male patients consecutively admitted to an alcoholic rehabilitation program were included. Group 1 was comprised of 40 patients with clinically apparent liver disease. Group 2 was comprised of 60 patients without clinically apparent liver disease. Anti-HCV was performed by a second-generation ELISA assay and confirmed by RIBA II. HCV RNA was performed by Quantiplex assay (Chiron Corporation) and a nested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. No significant differences were found between the two groups with regards to age, quantity and duration of alcohol intake, or accepted risk factors for HCV. The overall prevalence of anti-HCV in our patients was 23%, with 43% of these in group 1 and 10% in group 2. HCV RNA tasted positive in 94% of the anti-HCV-positive patients in group 1 and in 67% of the anti-HCV-positive patients in group 2. These data suggest that HCV infection is an important cofactor in the pathogenesis of liver disease among alcoholic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1176
Number of pages4
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1995


  • Alcoholic Liver Disease
  • Anti-HCV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology


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