Objectives: To determine the frequency of hepatitis C virus infection in children with Î²- thalassemia major at Military Hospital Rawalpindi.
Study design: Descriptive – cross sectional study
Place and duration of study: Study was conducted at Military hospital from 11th October 2009 to 10th April 2010.
Subjects and methods: Total 95 diagnosed cases of Î²-thalassemia major were included in the study. They were screened for presence or absence of Anti-HCV antibodies by 3rd generation ELISA technique.
Results: Out of total 95 patients, there were 60% (n=57) male and 40% (n=38) female patients. Forty (42.1 %) were found to have anti HCV positive while 55 (57.9%) patients were anti HCV negative. Mean age of anti-HCV positive patients was 10.4±3.54 years. Mean age of anti-HCV negative patients was 8.2 ±3.12 years (p-value 0.01). Thus HCV positive patients were significantly older HCV negative patients.
Conclusion: The frequency of HCV infection in our patients with Î²-thalassemia major receiving multiple transfusions was very high. There is urgent need to ensure the universal availability of screened blood and introduce more effective screening methods.
Hepatitis C Antibodies, Beta-Thalassemia, Blood transfusion