Epidemiology, surveillance, and prevention of hepatitis C virus infections in hemodialysis patients.

Patel PR, Thompson ND, Kallen AJ, Arduino MJ.

Am J Kidney Dis. 2010 Aug;56(2):371-8. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2010.01.025. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States; the prevalence in maintenance hemodialysis patients substantially exceeds that in the general population. In hemodialysis patients, HCV infection has been associated with increased occurrence of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma and increased mortality. Injection drug use and receipt of blood transfusions before 1992 has accounted for most prevalent HCV infections in the United States. However, HCV transmission among patients undergoing hemodialysis has been documented frequently. Outbreak investigations have implicated lapses in infection control practices as the cause of HCV infections. Preventing these infections is an emerging priority for renal care providers, public health agencies, and regulators. Adherence to recommended infection control practices is effective in preventing HCV transmission in hemodialysis facilities. In addition, adoption of routine screening to facilitate the detection of incident HCV infections and hemodialysis-related transmission is an essential component of patient safety and infection prevention efforts. This article describes the current epidemiology of HCV infection in US maintenance hemodialysis patients and prevention practices to decrease its incidence and transmission.

PMID: 20570422

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.