[The clinical features and natural history of post-transfusion hepatitis C]
To study the clinical features and natural history of post-transfusion hepatitis C (PTHC). Ninety-nine post-transfusion hepatitis C patients were analyzed using retrospective and prospective study and follow-up. (1) Ninety-nine post-transfusion HCV patients were infected during 1989-1994, mostly between 1990-1992. (2) Ninety patients were diagnosed as chronic hepatitis C, and 9 as hepatic cirrhosis (period of compensation). (3) The intervals between their transfusions and their initial diagnoses of PTHC were 7.4+/-6.6 years in all 99 patients, and the intervals in 9 cirrhosis patients were 12.7+/-5.8 years. (4) Among 63 male patients, 59 cases were chronic hepatitis C and 4 were cirrhosis while among 36 female patients, 31 were chronic hepatitis C and 5 were cirrhosis. There was no significant difference of the ratio for hepatitis C and cirrhosis between the male and female patients (P>0.05). (5) Repeat abnormal liver function occurred accompanied with a fluctuation of ALT elevation in those patients with cirrhosis. (6) No patient developed hepatic carcinoma during the study period. (1) The possibility of HCV infection by transfusion has declined greatly since 1995 in Guangzhou. (2) Nine of the 99 (9.1%) chronic HCV-infected patients developed a compensated cirrhosis after 12.7+/-5.8 years. (3) For those PTHC patients with repeat abnormal liver functions, interferon combined with ribavirin is recommended to prevent the development of cirrhosis.