Muhammad Younus, Khalid Hassan, Nadeem Ikram*, Lubna Naseem,
Hassan Abbas Zaheer and Muhammad Farooq Khan**
Department of Pathology, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad
* Department of Pathology, DHQ Hospital, Rawalpindi
** Divisional Blood Transfusion Center, Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi
Multiple transfusions in patients of thalassemia major who are conventionally treated by a regular transfusion regimen, are at
a risk of developing Transfusion Transmitted Infections (TTIs), including HCV-hepatitis. Strict criteria of safe donor
selection have to be adopted in order to minimize the risk of TTIs. The present study was conducted to evaluate the
seropositivity of anti-HCV antibodies in multiply transfused thalassemia major patients. A total of 75 patients of thalassemia
major who had received at least 10 transfusions were tested for anti-HCV antibodies, using third generation ELISA kits.
Amongst these patients, 42% were seropositive for anti-HCV antibodies. This is a high prevalence rate and calls for a critical
look into the prevailing transfusion practices and adoption of stricter donor selection criteria.
Key words: Anti-HCV antibodies; Thalassemia major; Safe blood transfusion.