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HCV & Dilantion
Mar 18, 2002

I been on Dilantin for twenty years. Blood work was done quarterly. Three years a go I was told by my insurance company that I had HCV. I think I must have had this for about 27 years now. Im enrolled in a HMO. They never found this in my blood. I have problems with my hands and fingers turn white this was been going on for about 3 years. The past few months i had a rash on my back and arms and ankles. For a few days i was passing a lot of blood with my stools, the doctor told me not to worry because it was red not black. I have never been treated for HCV and my doctor never said any of my symptoms were related to HCV. My question should I find a new doctor and do I have anything to worry about.

Thank You R Roitenberg

Response from Dr. Dieterich

This is not an uncommon story. The normal blood tests just look at AST and ALT and do not do the HCV Ab test. If the liver enzymes (AST/ALT) are normal then most MD's do not do HCV testing. However it is recommended that they ask you about risk factors for HCV. I would certainly recommend follow up of blood in your stool with a colonoscopy,if you were my patient. I would also suggest to you that HCV PCR would be a good idea and the usual work up of hepatitis C would be in order. Good luck! DTD

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