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ABSTRACT: Human Herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) has been implicated in hepatitis and HHV-6 infections have been reported in patients receiving heart transplants. We investigated the occurrence of such infections and their possible relation with post-transplantation hepatitis in 58 heart transplanted patients.
The titre of HHV-6 antibodies was determined by anticomplement immunofluorescence assay and compared with the titre of CMV antibodies determined by using ELISA.
HHV-6 seroprevalence after transplantation did not differ significantly between hepatitis, control patients (without hepatitis) and the healthy general population. In three controls and five hepatitis patients we observed, after transplantation, a seroconversion or a significant increase of antibody titre which suggested active HHV-6 infection. In six cases, HHV-6-specific IgM were found whereas CMV-specific IgM were not detected.
These results indicate that HHV-6 infection is frequent after heart transplantation but not in relation with hepatitis. The mechanism of this infection needs to be clarified (either primo-infection or reactivation) and the question remains whether this infection is totally asymptomatic or could induce serious illness.
La Presse Médicale 01/1994; 23(26):1209-10. · 0.87 Impact Factor