Characteristics of Hepatitis B Infection in a Sample of Omani Patients

Khalid Al-Naamani, Ali Al-Maqbali, Siham Al-Sinani


Objectives: This study aimed to describe the demographic and virological characteristics of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in a sample of Omani patients, and indirectly assess the efficacy of hepatitis B vaccination programmes and catch-up strategies. Methods: A retrospective study was undertaken of all patients with chronic HBV infections evaluated and followed-up at the Hepatology Clinic of the Armed Forces Hospital (AFH), Muscat, Oman, between January 2009 and April 2011. Results: A total of 154 patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean age of infected patients was 33 years with 72.7% being over 27 years. Females constituted 47.7% of the patients. Half of the cohort was referred either from the AFH’s Obstetric Clinic (29.2%) or its Blood Bank (22.1%). A family history of chronic HBV infection was present in 70% of patients. A total of 95% had positive hepatitis B surface antigens, while only 5% had isolated total hepatitis B core antibodies. Most patients (96%) were hepatitis B e-antigen-negative. The majority (77.9%) had low HBV dioribonucleic acid levels of <2,000 IU/ml. Radiological features of liver cirrhosis were observed in 5%. Patients requiring treatment were in the minority (9%). Conclusion: Almost 50% of the infected patients were female, the majority being of childbearing age. Medical authorities in Oman should consider enforcing a screening policy for all pregnant women using complete hepatitis B serological testing.


Hepatitis B, Chronic; Hepatitis B Vaccines; Hepatitis B, prevention and control; Blood Donors; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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