Hepatitis B virus and hepatitis D virus replication in HBsAg‐positive fulminant hepatitis

Antoni Mas, María Buti, Rafael Esteban, José M. Sánchez‐Tapias, Josep Costa, Rosendo Jardí, Miquel Bruguera, Jaime Guardia, Joan Rodés

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Hepatitis B virus DNA and hepatitis D virus RNA, the most sensitive markers of hepatitis B and hepatitis D virus replication, were sought by molecular hybridization with radioactive probes in serial serum samples from 29 consecutive patients with HBsAg‐positive fulminant hepatitis. Nineteen patients had evidence of hepatitis D virus infection, as assessed by the presence in serum of delta antigen, anti‐delta antibodies, or both. Hepatitis B virus DNA was found in only two patients: one was a chronic HBsAg carrier with hepatitis D virus superinfection and the other had fulminant hepatitis caused by hepatitis B and hepatitis D coinfection. Hepatitis D virus RNA was detected in three patients: two with hepatitis B and hepatitis D coinfection and also in the HBsAg carrier with positive hepatitis B virus DNA and hepatitis D virus superinfection. None of 10 patients with hepatitis B virus infection alone had detectable viral nucleic acids in serum. Overall, viral nucleic acids were detected in the sera of 4 of the 29 patients (14%). Hepatitis D virus antigenemia did not indicate hepatitis D virus replication because hepatitis D virus RNA was not detected in 9 of 12 patients with hepatitis D virus antigen in their sera. The low frequency of viral replication found in fulminant hepatitis B or D may explain the low recurrence rate of viral hepatitis in patients with fulminant hepatitis who have received liver transplantations.(HEPATOLOGY 1990;11:1062‐1065.). Copyright © 1990 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1062-1065
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1990


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