Response to treatment of chronic hepatitis C with interferon alpha in patients infected with HIV-1 is associated with higher CD4+ cell count.
Mauss S. Klinker H. Ulmer A. Willers R. Weissbrich B. Albrecht H. Haussinger D. Jablonowski H.
Klinik fur Gastroenterologie, Hepatologie und Infektiologie, Universitat Dusseldorf, Germany.
The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and tolerance of interferon alpha (IFN alpha) treatment of chronic hepatitis C in HIV-seropositive patients. Seventeen patients with actively replicating hepatitis C were consecutively enrolled and treated with IFN alpha 5 MIU three times a week and followed up for at least 6 months after cessation of treatment. Eight patients responded to IFN alpha therapy with a complete remission of signs of active hepatitis and viral replication (ALT, HCV-RNA) at the end of treatment with IFN alpha. A sustained complete remission (ALT, HCV-RNA) for at least 6 months after the end of treatment was achieved in five of these eight patients. Complete responders had higher CD4+ cell counts (median 525/microliter) compared to non-responders (median 245/microliter) (p < 0.001). All patients but one completed at least 4 months of treatment. No severe toxicity (> WHO grade 2) due to IFN alpha treatment occurred. The results indicate that IFN alpha treatment of chronic hepatitis C in HIV-seropositive patients is successful in a considerable number of cases. Success of treatment with IFN alpha is related to higher CD4+ cell counts.
Detection of GBV-C/HGV RNA in saliva and serum, but not in urine of infected patients.
Seemayer CA. Viazov S. Philipp T. Roggendorf M.
Institut fur Virologie, Universitatsklinikum Essen, Germany.
Saliva and urine samples from six GB virus C (GBV-C)/hepatitis G virus (HGV)-infected renal transplant patients were tested by RT-PCR. Viral RNA was detected in all saliva samples, but the viral RNA titers in saliva were 100 to 10,000 lower than those in the corresponding sera. Comparative sequence analysis of the amplified 354 bp DNA from one patient revealed full identity of GBV-C/HGV variants present in serum and saliva. None of the urine samples from the six patients was found to contain GBV-C/HGV RNA. High prevalence of GBV-C/HGV RNA in saliva of infected individuals may contribute to a wide spread of GBV-C/HGV infection, at least in some settings.
A case of BCG sepsis with bone marrow and liver involvement after intravesical BCG instillation.
Dederke B. Riecken EO. Weinke T.
Abt. fur Innere Medizin-Gastroenterologie, Universitatsklinikum Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany.
The case described concerns a 68-year-old male patient, who received intravesical BCG instillations for non-resectable urothelial carcinoma (stage pT1, G2). After the third instillation, which was complicated by hematuria during catheterization, he had a high temperature, dyspnoea, a weight-loss of 15 kg and critical recurrent hypotension for 3 weeks. On admission to the clinic he presented with high serum liver enzymes and pancytopenia. The suspected diagnosis of BCG sepsis was confirmed by the detection of typical granulomas in liver and bone marrow histology. After initiation of tuberculostatic therapy, the patient's condition improved and laboratory results returned to normal. This case shows the potential of a life-threatening systemic side effect after intravesical BCG instillation.
Clinical and biochemical reactivation of HBV infection in a thalassemic patient after bone marrow transplantation.
Li Volti S. Pizzarelli G. Galimberti M. Di Gregorio F. Romeo MA. Lucarelli G. Russo G.
I Istituto di Clinica Pediatrica, Universita di Catania, Italy.
The case of a young man affected by homozygous beta-thalassemia is reported who had serologic findings of a prior HBV infection and who presented with clinical and biochemical acute HBV infection probably caused by HBV reactivation after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. The patient's clinical history suggests that HBV can persist without serological findings of HBsAg and HBV-DNA in persons previously infected by HBV and that HBV reactivation can occur 2 years after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, as a result of immunosuppressive therapy or an HCV activation.
Hepatitis G virus coinfection in chronic hepatitis B and C patients in Poland.
Radkowski M. Stanczak W. Walewska-Zielecka B. Loch T. Cianciara J. Wang LF. Laskus T.
Institute of Infectious Diseases, Warsaw, Poland.
This study evaluated the epidemiology and impact of hepatitis G virus (HGV) infection in patients with chronic hepatitis B and C. Serum samples were obtained from 128 consecutive untreated patients with chronic hepatitis B (72 cases) or C (56 cases). The presence of HGV RNA was determined by PCR amplification of the 5'untranslated region; the sensitivity of the assays was ten template copy equivalents. The prevalence of HGV RNA in hepatitis B and C was found to be 25% and 34%, respectively. HGV-positive and HGV-negative patients did not differ with respect to risk factors for infection, age, sex, or alanine aminotransferase activity. Similarly, there was no difference in the severity of liver disease, as assessed with HAI score. In conclusion, we found a very high prevalence of HGV infection in chronic hepatitis B and C patients in Poland. Nevertheless, no evidence was found that HGV coinfection has any impact on the severity of the underlying disease.