The Impact of Endemic Schistosomiasis on Acute Viral Hepatitis

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  • Department of Medicine, Menoufia University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Pathology, University of Cairo Faculty of Medicine, International Health Program and Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Shiben El Kom, Egypt

One hundred forty-four of 166 adults with acute viral hepatitis (AVH) admitted to an Egyptian fever hospital were followed for 12 months. The hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) carrier rate in 95 with hepatitis B virus (HBV) hepatitis decreased from 53% at three months to 13% at 12 months. At 12 months, 22% of the male patients had persistent HBsAg compared with only 7% of the female patients. The HBsAg carrier rate was 25% at 12 months in those with schistosomiasis compared with 9% in those with only acute HBV infection. Splenomegaly persisted in those with palpable spleens at the initial examination and others developed splenomegaly. The prevalence of splenomegaly increased from 11% on admission to 20% at 12 months in those with only AVH, and from 40% to 69% in those with concomitant schistosomiasis. Patients with concomitant schistosomiasis had higher mean values for liver function test results and a greater proportion had abnormal liver function test results during hospitalization and followup than those with AVH only. Concomitant schistosomiasis increased the prevalence and prolonged splenomegaly and morbidity due to AVH. Both male sex and concomitant schistosomiasis prolonged the HBsAg carrier state. We propose that AVH frequently converts uncomplicated intestinal schistosomiasis to hepatosplenic schistosomiasis.