Recent studies in multiply transfused patients with hemophilia A and persistent liver function abnormalities have shown a high incidence of chronic active hepatitis. The purpose of the present study was to determine the severity of liver disease in multiply transfused patients with intermittent liver enzyme abnormalities. Fifteen patients with elevated enzymes on two or three out of four determinations at 6-mo intervals were studied. None had signs or symptoms of chronic liver disease. Thirteen had serologic evidence of prior exposure to the hepatitis B virus. Liver biopsy performed on these patients after replacement therapy with factor VIII showed chronic persistent hepatitis or other mild forms of liver disease in 14 of the 15 patients. Patients with chronic persistent hepatitis had significantly higher mean liver enzymes at time of biopsy than patients with milder forms of hepatic inflammation, but there was no relationship between liver histology and hepatitis B serology or the amount of factor VIII used in the 6 mo preceding biopsy. These findings support the continued use of factor VIII concentrates in patients with hemophilia.

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