OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of HBsAg and HCV-antibodies in thalassemic children in tertiary care
hospital of Peshawar.
METHODOLOGY: A descriptive study of 100 thalassemic children diagnosed clinically, was done at Department of
Pediatrics, PGMI/LRH, Peshawar from 22/03/2007 to 21/12/2007 (completed in 9 months). All the subjects included
in the study were investigated for HBsAg and HCV-antibodies using 3rd generation ELISA technique.
RESULTS: Out of 100 thalassemic children, HBsAg(Hepatitis B surface antigen) was positive in 04% cases,
HCV(Hepatitis C virus)-antibodies was positive in 13% cases, and 02% cases were positive for both HBsAg and
HCV-antibodies. There were 55% male and 45% were female. Majority (69%) cases were in the age group of 1-5
years. Hepatitis B vaccination was done in 17% cases, consanguinity was positive in 56% cases, and thalassemia in
family was positive in 42% cases on past history. In 67% cases, blood was transfused from 1-25 times, in 15% cases
from 26-50 times, in 13% from 51-100 times, in 03% from 101-150 times, and in 02% from 450-500 times.
CONCLUSIONS: Hepatitis B and C are common in thalassemic children.Hepatitis C is the leading hepatotrophic
virus in thalassemic children followed by Hepatitis B.
KEY WORDS: Thalassemia; HBsAg, HCV-antibodies; diagnosis; frequency.