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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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EDITORIAL Table of Contents   
Year : 1995  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 118-121
Hepatitis C Virus Infection: An Update

Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Faleh Zaid Al-Faleh
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine King Saud University, P.O. Box 2925, Riyadh 11461
Saudi Arabia
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PMID: 18583847

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is widely prevalent world-wide particularly in high-risk individuals including patients on hemodialysis (HD). Parenteral route seems to be the main route of transmission of this infection though other routes also exist. The high prevalence of HCV infection in patients on HD who have never received blood transfusions points to the dialysis machine as one of the likely sources of transmission of infection. The reported prevalence of anti­HCV in patients on HD in Saudi Arabia is about 68%. The natural history of HCV shows a tendency to progress to chronic liver disease including chronic active hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The prevalence of anti-HCV in the general population varies from 0.5 to 3% and thus vigorous screening should be applied to all potential blood donors. A policy of public health education should be designed and implemented on the general public and health workers to reduce the non-parenteral spread of HCV. Separate HD machines should be considered for patients who are anti-HCV positive. Such preventive measures are vital because treatment of HCV with interferon has met with mixed success so far.

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