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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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RENAL DATA FROM THE ARAB WORLD Table of Contents   
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 107-113
The Impact of Polymerase Chain Reaction Assays for the Detection of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in a Hemodialysis Unit


1 Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, The Al Hada Armed Forces Hospital, Taif, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Molecular Pathology, The Al Hada Armed Forces Hospital, Taif, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Magdi M Hussein
Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, Al Hada Armed Forces Hospital, P.O.Box 1347, TAIF
Saudi Arabia
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PMID: 17237902

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is most often diagnosed by detection of antibodies against the virus (HCV Ab). However, it has been reported that some HCV Ab negative patients test positive for HCV-RNA. Over a study period of 30 months, all patients on hemodialysis at the Al Hada Armed Forces Hospital in Taif, Saudi Arabia were tested monthly for HCV Ab and twice per year for HCV-RNA. HCV Ab was tested by a third generation microparticle enzyme immunoassay (MEIA), and HCV-RNA by a qualitative hepatitis-RNA assay, second version (COBAS Amplicor ® PCR), which was recently introduced in the Molecular Pathology Laboratory of our hospital. Of the 180 patients studied, 34 (18.9%) had positive HCV Ab, and of the 146 HCV Ab negative patients, five patients tested positive for HCV-RNA (3.42 %). Our study further finds that, when applying HCV Ab testing only, some patients with HCV viremia may be undetected. For better HCV infection control, routine HCV­RNA testing of dialysis patients should be considered, particularly in areas where the infection is common and in units applying isolation policies.


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