A hospital based retrospective study on hepatotropic viruses as a cause of acute viral hepatitis in children in Uttarakhand, India
Introduction: Acute viral hepatitis in children is a serious health problem throughout the world. Aims and Objective: To determine the profile of Hepatitis A, B, C and E as a cause of acute viral hepatitis in children in a tertiary care hospital of Uttarakhand, India. Material and Methods: In this retrospective study, data was collected from the records of paediatric patients who underwent testing for one or more of the hepatitis viruses. Serum samples were tested for Anti-HAV IgM and Anti-HEV IgM by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Hepatitis B surface antigen and Anti HCV antibodies by enhanced chemiluminiscence. Results: Among total of 252 patients suffering from Acute Viral Hepatitis (AVH), males predominated over females with 72.2 % vs. 27.8 %. Hepatitis A virus (72.6 %) was found to be the leading cause of AVH in our hospital followed by HBV (16.7 %), HEV (9.5 %) and the least common was HCV (1.1 %). Co-infection was seen in only 2 cases i.e one as HAV-HEV (0.4%) and other as HAV- HBV (0.4%). Out of all the cases of AVH, 9.5 % were suffering from Acute Hepatic Failure. Hepatitis A virus was found to be the most common cause of acute hepatic failure (50 %), followed by Hepatitis B (37.5 %) and Hepatitis E (12.5 %). Conclusions: Hepatotropic viruses are quite prevalent in children in our country. Thus to control faeco-orally transmitted viruses i.e Hepatitis A and hepatitis E, awareness about healthy hygienic practices should be emphasized upon. Also hepatitis A vaccination can be recommended to be included in national immunization schedule. To prevent parenterally transmitted viruses like Hepatitis B and hepatitis C, use of sterile needles and syringes while tattooing, ear piercing and avoiding injections through unregistered medical practitioners should be done. Vaccination for hepatitis B should be routinely done.