Objective: To determine whether hepatitis C virus is involved in hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia.
Design: Retrospective analysis.
Setting: Bone marrow transplantation unit.
Patients: One hundred and eighteen patients with severe aplastic anemia, including 19 with hepatitis-associated aplasia, 61 with aplastic anemia of undetermined cause, and 38 with aplastic anemia related to an inherited syndrome or an acquired etiology.
Measurements and Main Results: There was no statistically significant difference in antihepatitis C virus antibodies between hepatitis-related aplastic anemia (15.8%; 95% CI, 4% to 36%) and aplasia of unknown (9.8%; CI, 5% to 22%) or known (7.9%; CI, 2% to 22%) cause. The antihepatitis C virus levels did not differ according to the cause of aplastic anemia. There was no relation between hepatitis C and hepatitis B virus serologies, regardless of cause.
Conclusions: Hepatitis C virus is not a frequent cause of non-A, non-B hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia. Either a non-A, non-B, non-C hepatitis virus is involved in non-A, non-B hepatitis-related aplasia or hepatitis C virus prevalence is underestimated in patients with hepatitis-related aplasia, possibly as a result of immunologic defects.