The natural course of the Hepatitis C virus genotype 1b infection is still unclear but important for therapeutic decisions.
There are few unbiased long-term follow-up studies with known dates of infection.
Between 1978 and 1979, anti-D immunoglobulin had been administered to 2867 women for prophylaxis of rhesus isoimmunization.
Dr Manfred Wiesea and colleagues from Germany reported that 14 anti-D immunoglobulin batches were Hepatits C-1b contaminated.
The researchers rexamined 1980 women, representing 70% of the total cohort of 15 centers.
|86% of affected women still tested positive for Hep C virus antibodies after 25 years|
|Journal of Hepatology|
After application of the contaminated anti-D, the team noted that 93% of the recipients developed an acute Hepatitis C.
The researchers found that after 25 years, 86% of the 1833 affected women still tested positive for Hepatitis C virus antibodies and 46% for Hepatitis C RNA.
Only 9 had overt liver cirrhosis, whereas 30 women developed precirrhotic stages and 1 was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma.
The team found that 10 women died of Hepatitic C related complications, half of these related to additional comorbidity.
In addition, the researchers observed a continuous, but low increase of fibrotic scores in the last 5 years.
Dr Wiesea's team concluded, “Young women without comorbidity may clear Hepatitis C-1b infection in more than half of the cases, or develop mild chronic Hepatitis C.”
“We confirmed the low risk of progression to cirrhosis in this cohort within 25 years.”