Hepatitis G virus RNA in the serum of patients with elevated gamma glutamyl transpeptidase and alkaline phosphatase: A specific liver disease

P. Colombatto, A. Randone, G. Civitico, J. Monti Gorin, L. Dolci, N. Medaina, F. Oliveri, G. Verme, G. Marchiaro, R. Pagni, P. Karayiannis, H. C. Thomas, G. Hess, F. Bonino, M. R. Brunetto

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Abstract

We tested the sera of 67 consecutive patients for hepatitis G virus (HGV) RNA by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). These patients (42 males and 25 females, median age 35 years, range 13-64 years) had liver disease of unknown aetiology and were without markers of hepatitis (A-E) viruses or signs of genetically determined, autoimmune, alcoholic or drug-induced liver disease. The controls in this study were 110 patients (50 females and 60 males, median age 45 years, range 9-65 years) with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (19 patients) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (91 patients). Ten of 67 (14.9%) patients with cryptogenic disease were positive for HGV RNA by at least three separate tests; HGV RNA was also detected in one of 19 (5.3%) hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) carriers and in nine of 91 (16.6%) patients with antibody to HCV. These data suggest that HGV occurs as frequently in HCV-infected patients as in those with cryptogenic disease. Elevated serum gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GT) (higher than twice the normal value) and alkaline phosphatase levels were found in eight of 10 (80%) HGV RNA positive patients and in six of 57 (10.5%) HGV RNA negative patients (P < 0.0001). Five (50%) HGV RNA positive patients had non-specific inflammatory bile duct lesions. A statistically significant difference was observed between HGV RNA positive and negative patients with chronic HBV or HCV infections (P < 0.029). Therefore, the spectrum of liver disease associated with HGV is wide, but a characteristic lesion of the bile duct leading to elevation of cholestatic enzymes might be specific for this virus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-306
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Viral Hepatitis
Volume3
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1996

Keywords

  • Bile duct
  • Cholestasis
  • Flaviviridae
  • GB virus C (GBV-C)
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Hepatitis G virus (HGV)
  • Viral hepatitis

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    Colombatto, P., Randone, A., Civitico, G., Monti Gorin, J., Dolci, L., Medaina, N., Oliveri, F., Verme, G., Marchiaro, G., Pagni, R., Karayiannis, P., Thomas, H. C., Hess, G., Bonino, F., & Brunetto, M. R. (1996). Hepatitis G virus RNA in the serum of patients with elevated gamma glutamyl transpeptidase and alkaline phosphatase: A specific liver disease. Journal of Viral Hepatitis, 3(6), 301-306.