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Widad Yazaji
Wafa Habbal
Fawza Monem


hepatitis B, hepatitis C, multitransfusion, HBsAg, anti-HBc, anti-HCV, Syria


Background and objectives: Blood transfusion is a lifesaving therapy for patients with hemoglobinopathies. However, the need of frequent transfusion carries the risk of transmitting hepatitis B and C infections which are intermediately prevalent in Syria. Despite screening blood donations with sensitive methods, the risk of transmission is still present when infectious blood is donated within the window period. This study aimed to investigate the incidence of HBV and HCV seropositivity, and its association with multiple transfusions among Syrian hemoglobinopathies patients.

Materials and Methods: HBsAg, anti-HBc, anti-HBs and anti-HCV were tested for 159 Syrian multitransfused patients by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbant Assay (ELISA).

Results: Thirty-nine of 159 (24.5%) multitransfused patients were HBsAg/anti-HBc or anti-HCV positive, 26 (16%) of which never visited the dentist, and they either tested postsurgically negative for HBsAg and anti-HCV or never underwent a surgical procedure. On the contrary of anti-HCV seropositivity, HBsAg/anti-HBc seropositivity was significantly associated with the number of blood transfusions, number of blood units and age (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: About one-sixth of our patients most likely acquired HBV/HCV infection via blood transfusion. Administering HBV vaccine, ensuring the immune status, and monitoring hepatitis markers might considerably minimize the incidence of viral hepatitis among multitransfused patients.


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