Back to Journals » International Journal of General Medicine » Volume 13

Management of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen and Hepatitis C Antibody-Positive Patients by Departments Not Specializing in Hepatology at a Suburban University Hospital in Japan: A Single-Center Observational Study

Authors Tokushima Y, Tago M, Tokushima M, Katsuki NE, Iwane S, Eguchi Y, Yamashita S

Received 24 June 2020

Accepted for publication 27 August 2020

Published 1 October 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 743—750

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S268857

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Yoshinori Tokushima,1,* Masaki Tago,1,* Midori Tokushima,1 Naoko E Katsuki,1 Shinji Iwane,2 Yuichiro Eguchi,3 Shu-ichi Yamashita1

1Department of General Medicine, Saga University Hospital, Saga, Japan; 2Fujioka Hospital, Saga, Japan; 3Eguchi Hospital, Saga, Japan

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Masaki Tago
Department of General Medicine, Saga University Hospital, 5-1-1 Nabeshima, Saga 849-8501, Japan
Tel +81 952 34 3238
Fax +81 952 34 2029
Email tagomas@cc.saga-u.ac.jp

Objective: To investigate effects of an altered medical environment between 2010 and 2015 on viral hepatitis treatment behaviors of doctors who were not hepatology specialists.
Methods: Charts of patients who were identified as hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs-Ag)-positive or hepatitis C virus antibody (HCV-Ab)-positive by university hospital departments not specializing in hepatology from January to December 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were assigned to a “referred” group or a “non-referred” group based on whether they were subsequently referred to the Hepatology Department. Age, sex, type of department visited (one of various internal medicine departments, or a different department), and blood test results were compared in the two groups.
Results: Among 7,824 patients screened for HBs-Ag, 82 were positive. Twenty-nine (35.4%) had subsequently been referred to the Hepatology Department, which was higher than the 2010 referral rate (20.6%). In multivariate analysis, patients in the referred group were significantly more likely to have visited one of various internal medicine departments, and they had higher levels of platelet count and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase. Among 7,778 patients screened for HCV-Ab, 279 were positive. Only 33 (11.8%) had subsequently been referred to the Hepatology Department, which was lower than the 2010 referral rate (18.7%). In multivariate analysis, patients in the referred group were significantly more likely to have visited an internal medicine department.
Conclusion: HCV-antibody-positive patients screened by departments not specializing in hepatology were not managed adequately in 2015. This suggests a need for education of doctors not specializing in hepatology, particularly those not working in internal medicine departments.

Keywords: hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, referral, department

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]