Hepatitis C virus viremia and low platelet count: a study in a hepatitis B & C endemic area in Taiwan.

Journal of hepatology

Dai CY, Ho CK, Huang JF, Hsieh MY, Hou NJ, Lin ZY, Chen SC, Hsieh MY, Wang LY, Chang WY, Yu ML, Chuang WL

2010 J. Hepatol. Volume 52 Issue 2

PubMed 20034694 DOI 10.1016/j.jhep.2009.11.017

FibroTest Reliability Independant Team HCV HBV Fibrosis Regional


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been shown to be associated with a low platelet count. This study aimed to elucidate the association between virologic status and platelet count in individuals with HCV infection.


A large-scale survey, enrolling 11,239 residents, was conducted in the Kaohsiung area of Taiwan. Serum HCV RNA and non-invasive markers of fibrosis (FibroTest) were tested for antibody to HCV (anti-HCV)-positive subjects. The platelet counts of age- and sex-matched, biopsy-proven, hospital-based patients and community-based patients with minimal fibrosis were compared.


Anti-HCV was positive in 703 (6.2%) subjects and was significantly associated with older age, female sex, abnormal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) value and low platelet count (<150,000/microl). The independent factors significantly associated with low platelet count were abnormal ALT value (odds ratio [OR]: 3.70, 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 2.18-6.28) and positive HCV RNA (OR: 2.00, 95% CI: 1.01-3.97). After adjustment for the fibrosis, HCV RNA remained significantly associated with platelet counts.


Our results evaluating the association between platelet count and HCV viremia and taking the influences of fibrosis into consideration implicate that platelets may be affected directly by HCV.

Citation Reference: