Fazle Bari, Syed Faheem Shah, Syed Sajid Munir, Bushra Rehman, Hazir Rahman, Aziz Merjan, Muhammad Qasim


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is major health problem. The objectives of the study was to diagnose HCV infection in multi-transfused beta thalassemia major patients by using ICT, ELISA and real time PCR.
Material & Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted in Department of Pathology, Bacha Khan Medical Complex, Mardan from April 2013 to January, 2015. Sample size was 44. Sampling technique was purposive. Inclusion criteria was multi-transfused patients of beta-thalassemia major. Those patients who were on HCV therapy were excluded. Demographic variables were gender and age groups. Research variable was presence of HCV. The study was approved from the departmental ethical committee. Informed written consent was taken from patients. All the patients were subjected to HCV detection using ICT, ELISA and real time PCR. All the variables being categorical were analyzed through count and percentages. The data was analyzed by chi-square test. The correlation between different techniques was calculated by Cohen’s K coefficient test.
Results: Out of 44 cases, 52.2% were males and 47.7% were females. ICT diagnosed HCV in79.5% subjects, ELISA in 63.6% subjects and on real time PCR, HCV was detected in 43.1% subjects. Cohen’s Correlation was done. These Kappa values confirmed a weak correlation between any of two HCV diagnostic techniques. Significant difference was detected among male patients as compared to female patients and among age group of 15-17 years by the three diagnostic techniques.
Conclusion: It is better to employ a coupled diagnostic strategy for the diagnosis of HCV infection among the multi-transfused beta thalassemic major patients than using a single technique.

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