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UC Welge-Lussen, SG Priglinger, J Eberle, CS Alge, O Peschel, A Kampik, AS Neubauer; Hepatitis C Testing In Cornea Donors By Polymerase Chain Reaction . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):4180.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Screening all cornea donors for hepatitis C (HCV) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing has recently become mandatory in Germany. Blood sample analysis of donors with long post mortem times is discussed controversially. Therefore the aim of this study was to evaluate whether post-mortem donor screening by HCV-PCR is a feasible and suitable method to detect HCV positive donors. Methods: In 100 potential donors hepatitis C testing by conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and PCR was performed. Also, testing for hepatitis B and HIV were applied. Post-mortem time was in mean 22.0±15.4 hours (range 0-72 hours). Results were correlated to autopsy results of the liver. Results: ELISA testing for Hepatitis C was positive in 3 cases. In two of those cases no Hepatitis C RNA could be detected by PCR, in the third one PCR was not performed. In 2 of those ELISA positive donors liver changes were observed on autopsy. In 4 other donors Hepatitis C PCR was positive, while ELISA testing was negative and no liver changes were observed. Those 4 donors were excluded based on the results of PCR testing. HIV testing was found negative in all potential donors, but 13 donors had to be excluded due to hepatitis B serology. Conclusion: Post mortem testing for hepatitis C by PCR is feasible and offers additional safety for the cornea recipients as compared to ELISA alone.
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