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Hepatitis C virus infection in patients on maintenance dialysis

Svetlozar Natov, MD
Brian JG Pereira, MD
Section Editors
Steve J Schwab, MD
Martin S Hirsch, MD
Deputy Editor
Alice M Sheridan, MD


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is common and associated with significant morbidity and mortality among dialysis patients.

This topic reviews epidemiology of HCV infection among dialysis patients, including risk factors for and prevention of HCV transmission within dialysis units. The treatment of HCV infection among patients with reduced renal function, including those on dialysis, is discussed elsewhere. (See "Treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection in adults with renal impairment", section on 'Severe renal impairment or dialysis'.)

General issues related to HCV infection among transplant kidney donors and recipients and recurrent or de novo HCV-related renal disease in transplant recipients are discussed elsewhere. (See "Hepatitis C virus infection in kidney donors" and "Hepatitis C infection in kidney transplant candidates and recipients".)


HCV infection is more common in dialysis patients than in healthy populations. The best data regarding prevalence among dialysis patients were provided by Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS), which was a prospective, observational study that reported the prevalence of HCV among adult hemodialysis patients randomly selected from 308 representative dialysis facilities in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States [1]. The overall prevalence was 13.5 percent (compared with global prevalence in the general population of approximately 3 percent). (See "Epidemiology and transmission of hepatitis C virus infection", section on 'Global distribution'.)

DOPPS reported a wide variation among countries, from 2.6 to 22.9 percent. From various studies, the reported prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies among dialysis patients in different countries is:


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Literature review current through: Mar 2017. | This topic last updated: Dec 05, 2014.
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