Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 2800465
Vox Sang. 1989;57(1):43-8
In order to provide epidemiological and clinical information on surrogate testing of blood donations, the respective prevalences of serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) markers and elevated transaminase levels were studied in 1,100 blood donors according to their geographic origin and socioeconomic level. The frequency of serum HBV markers varied as a function of HBV endemicity in the country of origin; however, it was inversely correlated (p less than 0.05) to the socioeconomic level of the donors, even in those originating from countries of low HBV endemicity. There was no association between serum HBV markers and the increased transaminase level which was observed in 48 (4.3%) donors. Twenty-five of these accepted further clinical evaluation. A diagnosis appeared probable in 12 of the 25: alcohol in 5; drugs in 6; non-A, non-B hepatitis in 1. Seven of the remaining 13 subjects were more than 25% above ideal body weight. Transaminase activities determined at the time of clinical assessment were normal in 14. In addition, serum HBV DNA was found in 5 of 247 donors, even in the absence of any usual HBV marker and/or hypertransaminasemia. This could account for the few cases of B and B-like posttransfusion hepatitis which are known to still occur despite careful HBsAg screening of blood donors.