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When to start treatment for Hepatitis C?
Sep 29, 2003

Dear Dr. Dieterich,

My husband has Hepatitis c genotype 3. Recently, after a battery of tests including a CAT scan our doctor told us that he could not start treatment because his ALT levels were normal and treatment would have no effect. (His CAT scan shows only a slight enlargement of the liver.) Is this true? Were on a public health system. Wed had hopes to be cured once and for all, does one really have to have high ALT levels to begin treatment? If not, when is treatment really indicated? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Dieterich

I don't agree with that idea that normal ALT makes any difference at all. If you did not want to be treated, then you should have a liver biopsy, if you want to be cured then you should be treated. The chances of a cure are very good, as you know with genotype 3 and I would treat you without a biopsy. The CT scan can't really tell you anything about the condition of the liver except if the cirrhosis is really decompensated. Sounds like you might want to find another opinion! Good luck! DTD



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