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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


BONANAD BOIX, Santiago et al. The incidence of infection by hepatitis C amongst the donors of femur heads for tissue banks. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.72, n.3, pp.267-271. ISSN 2173-9110.

The live donors of femoral heads belong to a highly specific group in terms of age and pathological characteristic, forming the core of the group who supply many tissue banks with spongy bone, to cover the needs of several specialities in the field of repair and corrective surgery. Analysis for the presence of the hepatitis C virus in this population was conducted as a part of quality control programs, while habitual blood donors from the same geographical location were used as the control group. Although the comparison of results could give rise to erroneous interpretations, due to the lack of qualitative fit between the groups, a much higher incidence of infection by VHC was found in the donors of spongy bone than was the case for blood donors (3.816% vs. 0.569%), although a smaller proportion of donors had hepatic alterations (measured by transaminases). In spite of the fact that the prevalence of VHC is almost 6 times that corresponding to the population as a whole, the elimination of live donors of spongy bone would create serious problems with supply to tissue banks. We therefore propose that more severe exclusion criteria be applied to the selection of bone donors, and also that sterilisation techniques be employed, using physical - chemical procedures (liophilisation, dehydration, chemical treatment, irradiation) to process these tissues. We also recommend that younger multiple organ tissue donors be used as sources of spongy bone for cold storage that is not to be subjected to any additional sterilisation treatment.

Keywords : Hepatitis C; VHC; Tissue bank; Donors; incidence.

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