The Investigation of HCV RNA in Tear Fluid and Aqueous Humor in Patients with Anti-HCV Antibody Positive Who Underwent Cataract Surgery

Mustafa Atas, Arzu Seyhan Karatepe Hashas, Süleyman Demircan, Fatma Mutlu Sarıguzel, Burhan Baskan, Isa Yuvacı, Emine Pangal, Ilhami Celik, Gokmen Zararsiz
Ocular Immunology and Inflammation 2016, 24 (3): 297-301

PURPOSE: To obtain aqueous humor and tear fluid samples during cataract surgery of the hepatitis C virus (HCV)-antibody-positive patients in order to analyze them for HCV RNA and compare these measurements with serum HCV RNA levels.

METHODS: Twenty-nine anti-HCV-positive patients were included this study. HCV RNA viral load levels were determined by commercial real-time polymerase chain reaction system. Antibodies to HCV were screened with the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using anti-HCV test kit.

RESULTS: Log10 HCV RNA levels were found to be 6.00 ± 1.06 IU/mL in serum, 2.76 ± 0.36 IU/mL in the aqueous humor, and 1.91 ± 0.93 IU/mL in tear fluid. No correlation was detected between samples for HCV RNA positivity (p = .390, κ = .102). We have observed that, viral RNA was detected in the aqueous humor, while not in serum in one case, whereas viral RNA was detected in tear fluid but not in serum in another case.

CONCLUSIONS: Although viral load detected in aqueous humor and tear fluid samples was considerably lower compared to the serum samples, it can still be important in terms of infectivity.

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