UNDETECTED HEPATITIS-C VIRUS INFECTION IN HAEMODIALYSIS PATIENTS: IMPORTANCE OF PCR HCV RNA AND ELIZA METHOD
Haemodialysis (HD) is one of the most common type of renal replacement therapy (RRT) used for end stage kidney disease (ESKD). Hepatitis-C is the most frequent infection in haemodialysis. Early detection of this viral infection can lead to early treatment, lesser morbidity and mortality. PCR test is being used instead of Elisa in centres where HCV infection is more prevalent as PCR for HCV RNA is considered more reliable than Eliza in haemodialysis patients.
Objective: To assess the accuracy of Eliza and PCR method for the detection of Hepatitis-C viral infection in haemodialysis patients.
Study design: Cross-sectional Study.
Settings: Dialysis centre of DHQ hospital Sheikhupura, Punjab, Pakistan in January 2018.
Materials and Methods: All patients who were on maintenance haemodialysis for more than six months were included in the study. Patients with acute kidney disease and on dialysis less than six months were excluded. All patients were tested by enzymes linked immune-sorbent essay (ELIZA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for HCV status.
Results: Out of 152 haemodialysis patients tested, 94 (61.84%) cases were positive by both ELIZA and PCR methods while 6 (3.94%) cases with negative ELIZA were PCR positive. Number of dialysis, blood transfusions and serology were important risk factors with significant p value. (<0.05)
Conclusion: In centres where Hepatitis-C is more prevalent, PCR for HCV RNA should be preferred over ELIZA method for early detection of HCV viral infection.