Hepatitis, Epidemiology and Liver Function in Hemophiliacs in Sweden
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The epidemiology of viral hepatitis and liver function were studied in a retrospective survey of 69 patients with moderate and severe hemophilia A and B, and with severe von Willebrand's disease. Forty-nine patients were on prophylactic self-therapy and 20 on episodic treatment by medical personnel. Serologic markers of viral hepatitis (HBsAg, anti-HBs, anti-HBc, anti-HAV, and in some cases HBeAg and anti-HBe) and liver function tests (ASAT, ALAT, IgG) were followed for up to 12 years. There was a history of clinical hepatitis in 19%, and 96% showed some serologic evidence of exposure to hepatitis B virus. Only one patient was a HBsAg carrier. The prevalence of elevated ASAT and/or ALAT was 65% and the incidence 96%. In 68% of the patients there had been a transaminase elevation for more than 6 months. The clinical picture, serologic markers or liver function tests showed no significant difference between the types of hemophilia, amounts and modes of therapy, or age groups. The chronic hepatitis seen in our hemophiliacs seemed to be a slowly or non-progressive disease.
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