Original Article

Prevalence of HCV Infection in Adults with Congenital Heart Disease and Treatment with Direct Antiviral Agents

Authors: Ajay Reddy Gade MBBS, Manisha Patel MD, Donna R. West MSN, Gary A. Abrams MD

Abstract

Objectives: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects >3% of the US population, which over time can lead to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The lack of a reliable screening method for HCV before 1992 resulted in a higher prevalence of the virus in adults with congenital heart disease who underwent corrective surgery that required blood transfusions. Direct-acting antiviral agents such as sofosbuvir/ledipasvir have significantly increased the efficacy of HCV therapy, although use of these medications in adults with congenital heart disease has not been described.

Methods: Ours was a retrospective study of 188 adults with congenital heart conditions who had cardiac surgery before 1992. These patients were screened for HCV using HCV antibody followed by HCV RNA if the screening test was positive.

Results: Of the 188 adults, 116 (43% male patients, 24–70 years) were screened for the HCV antibody, demonstrating that 104 individuals were negative and 12 subjects were positive for the virus. Subsequently, further testing for the presence of HCV demonstrated 11 of 12 were infected, with an overall prevalence of 9.5%. Five individuals chose to be treated with sofosbuvir/ledipasvir and 5 of 5 have successfully cleared the virus and are considered cured.

Conclusions: Adults with congenital heart disease who underwent cardiac surgery before 1992 warrant being screened for HCV, and, if testing positive, may be considered for therapy using direct-acting antiviral agents with close monitoring for cardiac complications.

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