Background/Aims: An unenveloped single-stranded DNA virus (TTV) has been reported in association with elevated transaminase levels in patients with posttransfusion hepatitis and in those with acute or chronic liver disease of unknown etiology. To further evaluate the association of TTV with liver disease, TTV DNA was searched for in patients with acute or chronic liver disease of various etiologies.
Methods: TTV DNA was determined by polymerase chain reaction with hemi-nested primers in 64 patients with acute or chronic liver disease of unknown etiology and in 100 with acute or chronic liver disease positive for antibody to hepatitis C virus (HCV) as well as HCV RNA.
Results: TTV DNA was detected in two of the seven (29%) patients with acute hepatitis of unknown etiology, but in none of the four patients with acute HCV-associated hepatitis. It was detected in 27 of the 57 (47%) patients with chronic liver disease of unknown etiology at a frequency significantly higher (p <0.001) than that in 17 of the 96 (18%) patients with chronic HCV-associated liver disease. By contrast, RNA of hepatitis G virus was detected in none of the patients with acute hepatitis, and only in one of the 57 (2%) patients with chronic liver disease of unknown etiology as well as in six of the 96 (6%) patients with chronic HCV-associated liver disease.
Conclusions: Based on the obtained results, TTV has a role in the development of acute and chronic liver disease of unknown etiology.
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Accepted: August 18, 1998
Received in revised form: August 18, 1998
Received: April 22, 1998
© 1999 Published by Elsevier Inc.