Background: Hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) and its complications is one of the most serious problems of the health system in many parts of the world. In the present study, we will assess chronic and occult HBV and isolated anti-Hepatitis B core antigen whose screening and evaluation is not routine in different populations.
Materials and Methods: This descriptive analytical study was conducted on 213 patients undergoing chemotherapy - radiotherapy referred to the hematology - oncology clinics of Isfahan, Iran in 2012. In order to determine the serum levels of hepatitis B surface antigen (HbSAg), Hepatitis B Antigen and Antibody (HBCAb), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT) and Alkaline phosphatase (ALK.P), venous blood samples were obtained. If the HBCAb sample was positive, another sample of the serum was sent to the laboratory to perform polymerase chain reaction and to determine viral load.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 47.7 ± 9 years, with an age range of 27 -73 years; 98 (46%) and 115 (54%) cases were male and female, respectively, with mean age of 51.9 ± 8.3 and 44.1 ± 8.1 years, and there was no significant difference (P < 0.001). The mean level of liver enzymes including AST, ALT and ALK.P were 34.2 ± 36.02, 38.9 ± 47.1 and 252.1 ± 234.7, respectively. Two cases were HbSAg positive (0.9%) and six cases were HBCAb positive (2.8%) and HbSAg negative. Three cases had a high viral load at the rate of starting treatment among positive anti-HBC patients.
Conclusion: Because occult hepatitis is investigated less commonly in routine studies, it seems that screening and evaluating its prevalence is useful in the management of patients.