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Dr. diagnosis confusing
Jan 31, 2002

Very confused! Elevated liver enzymes. While waiting for PCR and RIBA and hep test to come back, I had an ultrasound and endoscopy done! He tells me NO LIVER DAMAGE AND NO LIVER DISEASE. Then when the test comes back he says yes I have Hep C and viral load around 850,000. Now I am waiting for liver biopsy results. Why would he tell me no liver disease, but now about extended blood work, says hep c. Isnt hep c a liver disease. He wants me on therapy, I am perplexed. Thank you for clarification

Response from Dr. Fried

The best diagnostic test for hepatitis C is in the bloodwork. Elevated liver enzymes, anti-HCV-Positive, and HCV RNA present by PCR (your viral load) indicates that you do have hepatitis C. The ultrasound will miss most cases of hepatitis unless the disease is very advanced and cirrhosis is obvious. The endoscopy may have been done to look for dilated blood vessels (varices) which can ocur in patients with cirrhosis. The liver biopsy is the best test for assessing the degree of liver injury. When you get the report, make sure you ask your doctor to explain to you the grade (how much inflammation) and the stage (how much fibrosis).



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