PREVALENCE OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV) INFECTION IN CHILDREN WITH CHRONIC LIVER DISEASE & NEONATAL CHOLESTASIS SYNDROME
M Mushtaq*, S Alam**, I Shukla***, S M Ali****, R Sherwani*****
Department of Pediatrics, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh.*, Department of Pediatrics, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligar**, Drpartment of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh. ***, Department of Pediatrics, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh.****, Department of Pathology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh. *****
Aims: To study the prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection in children with Chronic Liver Disease (CLD) and Neonatal Cholestasis Syndrome (NCS).

Methodology: All the cases of Chronic Liver Disease (CLD) and Neonatal Cholestasis Syndrome (NCS) attending the Paediatric Gastroenterology clinic of JNMC Hospital were included in this study. A detailed history and physical assessment with investigative work up was done for all the cases as per the protocol followed in the GE clinic. The data of all the cases enrolled in the study was entered in separate pre-tested proforma. The sera of the patients were tested for anti-HCV antibodies by an ELISA based third generation diagnostic kit.

Results: Of the total of 66 patients enrolled in the study so far, 39 (59.0%) were cases of CLD and 27 (41.0% were cases of NCS. There were only two patients positive of anti-HCV antibody out of the total 66 cases. The first seropositive case was among the patients of CLD. She was a ten year old female child and presented with complains of fever, night blindness, abdominal distension and jaundice since three months. There was no history of any previous blood transfusion, intravenous-injections or hospital admission. The second seropositive child was a patient of NCS. He was a 3 months old male child and presented with jaundice and clay colored stool since ten days of life with hepatosplenomegaly and multiple hematomas on back and legs. The child was a pre-term small for gestational age at birth and had no significant antenatal or family history. We were not able to screen the mother of the baby for any evidence of vertical transmission, as the child was lost to follow up. From the study the prevalence of HCV in patients of CLD is 2.56% and in patients of NCS is 3.70%.

Conclusion: The prevalence of HCV infection in children with CLD and NCS in Aligarh is 2.56% and 3.70% respectively.
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