RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., INTRAMURAL
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Risk Factors for Delta Hepatitis in a North American Cohort: Who Should Be Screened?

INTRODUCTION: The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases recommends hepatitis D virus (HDV) screening in certain high-risk groups; however, the effectiveness is unknown.

METHODS: A study of North American patients with hepatitis B (HBV) referred to the NIH was performed to identify risk factors associated with HDV infection. Active HDV was "confirmed" by serum HDV RNA or histologic HDV antigen staining.

RESULTS: Six hundred fifty-two were studied, of which 91 were HDV "confirmed." Independent risk factors for HDV included: intravenous drug users, HBV-DNA <2,000 IU/mL, alanine aminotransferase >40 U/L, and HDV endemic country of origin.

DISUSSION: North American patients with HBV and significant risk factors should be screened for HDV.

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