Anti-HCV Positive Patients and Problems in their Management

Ihsanullah Mahsud, Nasim Saba, Rehman ud Din, Habibullah Khan


Background: Hepatitis C is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Screening for it is by detection of anti-HCV antibodies. The purpose of this study was to know the presentation of anti-HCV positive patients, risk factors for it and problems in the management of these patients.

Material & Methods: This study was conducted in Medical Unit of District Headquarter Teaching Hospital Dera Ismail Khan from January 2006 to October 2008. Three hundred anti-HCV positive patients were studied. Detailed history was taken from each patient to know about the risk factors and symptoms of HCV infection. Examination was performed to look for relevant signs and the previous record of the patients checked to know about the treatment they had received.

Results: Majority of anti-HCV positive patients 186(62%) were asymptomatic. Main identifiable risk factor in 90(30%) patients was the use of un-sterilized injections. In 102(34%) cases there was no identifiable risk factor. Out of 279 patients having received no antiviral therapy in the past, 81(29.03%) were not ready to carry out further investigations and treatment mainly because of economic problems. Out of 192 patients, already knowing about their anti-HCV positivity, 12(6.25%) were treated inappropriately in the past because of wrong interpretation of their investigations.

Conclusion: Majority of patients with hepatitis C are asymptomatic. The main identifiable risk factor is the use of un-sterilized injections. About one third of patients with hepatitis C are not managed properly. More knowledge and awareness regarding Hepatitis C is required.

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