Hepatitis C virus serology in parenteral drug users with chronic liver disease

David M. Novick, Kevin J. Reagan, T. Scott Croxson, Alvin M. Gelb, Richard J. Stenger, Mary Jeanne Kreek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Chronic liver disease is a common complication of parenteral drug use, and liver cirrhosis is frequently seen in users of both parenteral drugs and alcohol. In 1978-83, we studied 88 parenteral drug users with sufficient evidence of chronic liver disease to warrant liver biopsy. Current alcohol abuse was noted in 63 (72%), and six (7%) were former alcohol abusers. Cirrhosis was found in 33 (38%). Hepatitis C antibody (anti-HCV) was detected in 86 (98%). Also, 40 of the anti-HCV positive sera were tested with recombinant immunoblot assay and all of these were reactive. All but one of the 31 patients with anti-HCV and cirrhosis were alcohol abusers. We conclude that parenteral drug users with chronic fiver disease almost always have evidence of HCV infection. By 1978-83, HCV infection had become well established in an addict population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-171
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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