Year 2020 / Volume 112 / Number 7
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Year 2020 / Volume 112 / Number 7


Recapture of patients with an incomplete diagnosis of hepatitis C virus infection


Cristina Burgui, Carmen Martín, Regina Juanbeltz, Ramón San Miguel, Iván Martínez-Baz, José Manuel Zozaya, Jesús Castilla,

Background: hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody tests have been performed since the 90s, although HCV-RNA (viral load) determination was not always performed. Some of these patients may be actively infected and not be aware of it. Here, we describe a procedure to capture these subjects and complete their diagnosis. Methods: the historical laboratory results of Navarra were reviewed and individuals who were positive for antibodies against HCV (anti-HCV) and had not undergone HCV-RNA testing were identified. In September 2018, each general practitioner (GP) was informed about their patients and given precise instructions for completing the diagnosis. The procedure was assessed until December 2019. Results: two hundred and eighty-nine anti-HCV positive patients were detected for whom active infection had not been discarded. Two were HIV-positive and six had already died. GPs were asked to assess the remaining 281 subjects. By the end of 2019, a new blood test had been performed in 187 (67 %) patients, 5 % decided not to do it, 4 % were living outside of Navarra, 3 % could not be contacted and the GP considered that it was not justified in 2 % of cases. Thus, 19 % remained to be contacted. From the 187 assessed patients, active infection was confirmed in 52 (28 %) individuals, 40 % were false positives and HCV-RNA was undetectable in 31 %. Regarding the 52 actively infected subjects, 34 had already initiated antiviral therapy and three were hospitalized due to decompensated cirrhosis, from which one patient died. Conclusions: the strategy to recapture individuals with an incomplete HCV infection diagnosis was effective to detect active infections and subsequent initiation of antiviral therapy.

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Asociación Española de Ecografía Digestiva Sociedad Española de Endoscopia Digestiva Sociedad Española de Patología Digestiva
The Spanish Journal of Gastroenterology is the official organ of the Sociedad Española de Patología Digestiva, the Sociedad Española de Endoscopia Digestiva and the Asociación Española de Ecografía Digestiva
© 2020 The Spanish Journal of Gastroenterology