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June 14, 1985

Transmission of Hepatitis B During Blood Glucose Monitoring

Author Affiliations

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

JAMA. 1985;253(22):3250. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350460046010

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To the Editor.—  The capillary blood sampler is widely used for home blood glucose monitoring. We suspect that it played a central role in the transmission of hepatitis B virus to the wife of one of our patients.

Report of a Case.—  The patient called us for information regarding postexposure immunoprophylaxis for hepatitis B. His wife had become jaundiced, and test results were found to be positive for hepatitis B surface antigen. Neither our patient nor his wife used intravenous drugs, were health care workers, or had any sexual contact with persons known to have hepatitis B. The wife was a diabetic and monitored her blood glucose level using a capillary blood sampler. She worked in a hair salon with a male homosexual who has chronic hepatitis B virus infection and who had experienced several episodes of shakiness, dizziness, and diaphoresis that resolved with the ingestion of sugar. Our patient's