Re-evaluation of chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C patients lost to follow-up: results of the Northern Holland hepatitis retrieval project

  • Beekmans N
  • Klemt-Kropp M
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Abstract

Background Many persons infected with Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the past are now lost to follow-up. The aim of the Northern Holland Hepatitis Retrieval Project (NHHRP) is to retrieve and re-evaluate persons previously diagnosed with HBV or HCV and bring them back into care. Chronic HBV infection was defined as two positive Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) tests within 6 months and chronic HCV infection with 2 positive HCV RNA tests by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Methods Data files of the local public health services and microbiology laboratory were explored to identify all registered HBV and HCV cases in the Alkmaar region, the Netherlands, for the past 15 years. Identified cases were compared with patients currently known in our hospital. Patients without follow-up in primary or hospital care were approached via their primary health care physician and invited for evaluation at our hospital. Results In total, 552 cases of HBV were identified. 356 (64.5%) had no follow-up. Only 113/356 (31.7%) were eligible for retrieval and 44.2% were evaluated in our hospital resulting in a change of management in 22/50 (44%) of patients. Four hundred ninety nine cases of HCV were identified, 150/499 (30.1%) were lost to follow-up. Only 20/150 (13.3%) were eligible for retrieval and 4/20 (20%) were evaluated at our clinic. Resulting in a change of management in 3/4 (75%). Conclusion Only a limited part of HBV and HCV persons lost to follow-up is eligible for retrieval, nonetheless re-evaluation of these persons will lead to a change of management in the majority of persons.

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Beekmans, N., & Klemt-Kropp, M. (2018). Re-evaluation of chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C patients lost to follow-up: results of the Northern Holland hepatitis retrieval project. Hepatology, Medicine and Policy, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41124-018-0032-9

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