- 11Liver Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA; 2Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
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.