The prevalence of seropositivity to hepatitis B surface antigen and the corresponding hemato-biochemical features in sickle cell patients in Ghana



Objectives: The reported prevalence of HBsAg in the general Ghanaian population is high (more than 10%). However, it is anticipated that following the establishment of the Sickle Cell Clinic, due to the comprehensive care, the prevalence of HBsAg among the sickle cell patients should be lower.

Method: This study was aimed at screening for the HBsAg in 330 sickle cell patients, as well as using some hemato-
biochemical parameters to characterize the seropositives, relative their age-, sex- and genotype-matched seronegative counterparts.

Results: Twelve of the subjects (3.6%) were seropositive; 6 males and 6 females, this was lower than the prevalence rates reported from the general population. The mean levels of the following indices were higher in the seropositives; ALT (28.3 ± 19.6 U/L), AST (52.9 ± 36.1 U/L), ALP (181.4 ± 98.1 U/L), LDH (1010 ± 223.5 U/L), albumin (4.4 ± 0.5g/dL), creatinine (76.0 ± 18.2 µmol/L), urea (4.4 ± 5.8 mmol/L) and platelets (401.3 ± 152.8 × 109/L). However, it was only the difference in the mean creatinine levels that reached statistical significance (P=0.039). The cases of seropositivity to HBsAg were not active HBV infection, as patients did not show any incriminating symptoms, apart from vaso-occlusive pain. Additionally, the hematologic and biochemical profiles of both groups were similar.

Conclusion: Compared to the reports from the general Ghanaian population, the prevalence of HBsAg seropositivity has been shown to be lower, and despite the seropositivity, the hepatic and kidney functions had not been compromised.

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Journal of Hematological Malignancies
ISSN 1925-4024 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4032 (Online)
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