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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Viral hepatitis in patients with spinal cord injury is explained by known risk factors.

Spinal cord injury (SCI) has been reported to be associated with viral hepatitis. However, this association may be related to other confounding factors, such as intravenous drug abuse or blood transfusions. Screening for viral hepatitis associated risk factors and serum serologies, including HBsAg, anti-HBc, anti-HBs and anti-HCV testing, were performed in 78 randomly selected SCI patients and 93 non-alcoholic patients attending a general medical clinic. Hepatitis B and C seropositivies in SCI patients were 29.5 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively, and were significantly associated with a history of intravenous drug abuse. In contrast, hepatitis B and C seropositivities in non-alcoholic general medicine clinic patients were 22.6 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. In the subgroup of patients without known viral hepatitis risk factors, there were no significant differences between SCI and non-alcoholic patients with respect to hepatitis B (21.4 percent vs. 22.1 percent) or hepatitis C (0 percent vs. 1.3 percent) seropositivity. Stepwise logistic regression also failed to detect an association of SCI with viral hepatitis. In conclusion, the increased seroprevalence of hepatitis C in SCI patients is secondary to intravenous drug use and blood transfusions. Further preventive measures such as improved hepatitis screening of blood donors and substance abuse treatment should decrease viral hepatitis exposure in SCI patients.[1]


  1. Viral hepatitis in patients with spinal cord injury is explained by known risk factors. Rosman, A.S., Chinigo, A.S., Spungen, A.M., Drexler, H.J., Bauman, W.A. The journal of spinal cord medicine. (1998) [Pubmed]
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