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Background: In Oman, the prevalence of hepatitis B (HBV) infection is 5.8% with 2.8–7.1% HBV carriers. Hepatitis C (HCV) prevalence amongst Omanis is 0.41%. A total of 2917 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections were notified amongst Omanis by 2017. This study was performed as there was no data on the prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV in sickle cell disease (SCD) patients from Oman.
Study Design and Methods: In this retrospective, cross-sectional study, medical records of all SCD patients who attended our hospital between 2011 to 2017 were retrieved from the hospital information system. Following approval by the local medical research and ethics committee, data on HIV, HBV and HCV exposure were recorded to estimate the prevalence.
Results: Amongst a total of 1000 SCD patients (491 males and 509 females), twenty-three (2.3%) patients showed positive serology for hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg), of whom sixteen (1.6%) were HBV DNA positive. 126 (12.6%) had anti-HCV antibodies (anti-HCV), of whom fifty-two (5.2%) were HCV RNA positive. None of the patients had positive serology for HIV. A normal liver was observed on abdominal ultrasound in 788 (78.8%) patients, whereas, 208 (20.8%) had hepatomegaly and 4 (0.4%) had liver cirrhosis. Thirty-six (3.6%) patients died, but in only two patients, the mortality was due to cirrhosis of the liver.
Conclusion: This study provides the first comprehensive data on the prevalence of HBV and HCV infections among Omani SCD patients exposed to blood transfusions. Reassuringly, no case with HIV was observed.
Keywords: Prevalence; Hepatitis; HBV; HCV; HIV; infection