Hepatitis C virus infection in acquired aplastic anemia

Ronald L. Paquette, Ken Kuramoto, Lawrence Tran, Ghislaine Sopher, Stephen D. Nimer, Jerome B. Zeldis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia (HAAA) is an uncommon disorder that usually is not due to hepatitis A or B virus infection. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) seropositivity is infrequently observed in aplastic anemia (AA) patients who have not been extensively transfused. However, HCV seropositivity may not be detected until several weeks or months after viral infection and AA patients may exhibit defective humoral immunity. Therefore, we evaluated sera from AA patients for the presence of HCV viremia using a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) based assay and several serologic assays for HCV antibodies. Serum samples from 90 AA patients who presented to the UCLA Medical Center between March 1984 and February 1990 were analyzed. Overall, 17 patients were found to have HCV viremia by RT-PCR assay, of whom 14 had a positive second-generation HCV enzyme immunoassay (EIA-2) and only 6 were EIA-1 reactive. The frequency of HCV viremia increased with the duration of time between diagnosis and sample procurement, and the number of blood products transfused prior to sampling (P = 0.026). No patient who received fewer than 20 U of blood products or who was sampled less than 20 days after diagnosis had a positive HCV RT-PCR result. Of four patients with hepatitis-associated AA (HAAA), one who was sampled 23 days after diagnosis had hepatitis C viremia and a reactive EIA-2 assay. Therefore, the high frequency of HCV viremia in this patient population is most likely due to transfusion with contaminated blood products prior to the introduction of routine blood donor screening for HCV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hematology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Aplastic anemia
  • Hepatitis C
  • RT-PCR
  • Transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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