1st Department of Internal Medicine, 417 Army Share Fund Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece.
Nephrology Department, 417 Army Share Fund Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece.
Laboratory of Medical Microbiology, Hellenic Pasteur Institute, Athens, Greece.
2nd Department of Internal Medicine, 'Hippokration' General Hospital of Athens, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is still common among dialysis patients, but the natural history of HCV in this group is not completely understood. The KDIGO HCV guidelines of 2009 recommend that chronic haemodialysis patients be screened for HCV antibody upon admission to the dialysis clinic and every 6 months thereafter if susceptible to HCV infection. However, previous studies have shown the presence of HCV viraemia in anti-HCV-negative haemodialysis patients as up to 22%.
To evaluate the presence of HCV viraemia, using HCV RNA detection, among anti-HCV-negative haemodialysis patients from a tertiary dialysis unit in Athens.
We enrolled 41 anti-HCV-negative haemodialysis patients diagnosed with third-generation enzyme immunoassay. HCV viraemia was evaluated using a sensitive (cut-off: 12 IU/mL) reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (COBAS AmpliPrep/TaqMan system) for HCV RNA.
None of the 41 anti-HCV-negative haemodialysis patients were shown to be viraemic.
Routine HCV RNA testing appears not to be necessary in anti-HCV-negative haemodialysis patients.