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PERSISTENCE OF ABNORMAL HEPATIC TESTS IN CARRIERS OF VIRAL HEPATITIS

Robert F. Norris, M.D.; Dicran Kassouny, M.D.; John G. Reinhold, Ph.D.; John R. Neefe, M.D.
JAMA. 1956;160(13):1118-1121. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960480018005.
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• Fifteen recipients acquired viral hepatitis after a single blood transfusion. Tests for hepatic function—serum bilirubin, thymol turbidity, thymol flocculation, cephalin-cholesterol flocculation, zinc turbidity, urine urobilinogen, and sulfobromophthalein retention—had all given normal results in three of the donors.

Twenty donors were examined repeatedly during periods up to four years after giving blood. One had consistently abnormal hepatic tests, yet his blood serum did not induce hepatitis in volunteers. Throughout the retesting period, each donor generally had consistently normal or abnormal results in the various tests. One donor developed clinical hepatitis seven months after donating blood that was believed to have caused hepatitis in a recipient and four and one-half months after his serum had caused hepatitis in volunteers; his blood still infected volunteers six months after his own clinical recovery.

At present the six tests enumerated are insufficient either to detect carriers with certainty or to pronounce a prospective donor safe.

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