December 18, 1981

Nationwide ALT testing to prevent non-A, non-B hepatitis still on hold

JAMA. 1981;246(24):2791-2792. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320240003001

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Testing A esting blood for elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels in an effort to prevent non-A, non-B (NANB) hepatitis is a procedure that is gaining support, but the consensus of those in blood banking is that nationwide testing is not warranted yet. One blood bank plans to go ahead with the testing, however.

An ad hoc committee of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) deliberated the topic at the association's recent meeting in Chicago and decided against recommending routine testing.

"Nearly everybody feels there is insufficient information for a national policy change right now, particularly one which has so many ramifications," said committee chairman Joseph Bove, MD, professor of laboratory medicine and director of the blood bank at Yale University Medical Center, New Haven, Conn, in an interview with JAMA MEDICAL NEWS.

The questions that were in everyone's mind were summarized at a session on new techniques of hepatitis