Chronic Liver Disease in Peru: Role of Viral Hepatitis
NAVAL MEDICAL RESEARCH INST BETHESDA MD
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The prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C virus anti-HCV was determined in 105 patients with biopsy-proven chronic liver disease and 128 comparison patients without any evidence of liver pathology living in Lima, Peru. Using a second-generation EIA screening and supplemental immunoblot assay, anti-HCV was detected in four of 13 patients with chronic hepatitis, in 11 of 85 patients with cirrhosis, and none of seven patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Only two 1.6 comparison patients without liver disease had anti- HCV. Hepatitis B surface antigen HBsAg was found in 23 of patients with chronic hepatitis, 12 of patients with cirrhosis, and three of seven patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. There was no evidence of chronic viral hepatitis or alcohol abuse reported by one-third of subjects in 48 of chronic liver disease patients. These preliminary data suggest that among this South American population neither hepatitis B nor hepatitis C infection is the predominate cause of chronic liver disease and that other infectious or environmental factors may be important.
- Medicine and Medical Research