Department of Internal Medicine, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University, 59 Yatap-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam 463-712, Korea.
Background/Aims: The prevalence of occult HBV infection depends on the prevalence of HBV infection in the general population. Hemodialysis patients are at increased risk for HBV infection. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of occult HBV infection in hemodialysis patients. Methods: Total of 98 patients undergoing hemodialysis in CHA Bundang Medical Center (Seongnam, Korea) were included. Liver function tests and analysis of HBsAg, anti-HBs, anti-HBc and anti-HCV were performed. HBV DNA testing was conducted by using two specific quantitative methods. Results: HBsAg was detected in 4 of 98 patients (4.1%), and they were excluded. Among 94 patients with HBsAg negative and anti-HCV negative, one (1.1%) patient with the TaqMan PCR test and 3 (3.2%) patients with the COBAS Amplicor HBV test were positive for HBV DNA. One patient was positive in both methods. Two patients were positive for both anti-HBs and anti-HBc and one patient was negative for both anti-HBs and anti-HBc. Conclusions: The present study showed the prevalence of occult HBV infection in HBsAg negative and anti-HCV negative patients on hemodialysis at our center was 3.2%. Because there is possibility of HBV transmission in HBsAg negative patients on hemodialysis, more attention should be given to prevent HBV transmission.