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October 15, 1960

Infectious Hepatitis: Studies on the Effect of Gamma Globulin and on the Incidence of Inapparent Infection

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Pediatrics, New York University School of Medicine and the Willowbrook State School, Saten Island. Dr. Ward is now with the Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

JAMA. 1960;174(7):823-830. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030070001001

The effect of gamma globulin in the prevention of infectious hepatitis was studied in four controlled trials in an institution where the disease was highly endemic. In the first trial a single dose of 0.01 ml. per pound of body weight was followed by a two and one-half-fold reduction in incidence of hepatitis with jaundice in a group of patients, predominantly children. When the same dose was given simultaneously to adult hospital attendants, it was ineffective. In the second and third trials inoculation of 0.06 ml. of gamma globulin per pound of body weight was followed by a tenfold and thirtyfold reduced incidence of overt jaundice. In a fourth trial a small group of newly admitted patients was studied intensively for subclinical infection. Under the conditions of this trial clinically inapparent hepatitis occurred in spite of gamma globulin. The ratio of subclinical anicteric hepatitis to overt jaundice was 12:1.