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Your opinion on PCR
Dec 31, 2001

Dr. Dieterich, I read through your replies to the questions in this forum and noticed that you are very confident in the PCR viral tests. You claimed that "the PCR is nearly totally accurate". However, I also found in many medical articles which say that "Never trust a single PCR test". Do you think a patient with moderate exposure to the virus should use 2 PCRs to confirm his/er hepatitis C status? For diagnostic purpose, should one use the RNA or the DNA?

Response from Dr. Dieterich

I agree that I would never make a critical decision on one PCR. If you are talking about HCV there is only RNA. For HIV, RNA is easier DNA may be more accurate. Still need to do two if you are making a diagnosis or changing therapy. DTD



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