interpreting Hepatitus Panel Results
Nov 3, 2006
My recent yearly blood work showed abnormalities in the liver function test with slightly raised ALT. My Doctor recommended another liver function test. The hepaitis panel showed negative results for Hepatitis A and B but the HCV Ab results were 43.3H s/co ratio, indicating a past or present HCV infection. The test is 95% accurate with a false positive possibility of less than 5%. I'm scheduled for PCR testing and Qualitative HCV RNA testing. Should I be concerned? Thanks very much, Hilary Hawke
Response from Dr. McGovern
If you have a positive hepatitis C antibody, but have no risk factors whatsoever, you may want to get RIBA testing - recombinant immunoblot assay, which is the most specific test for hepatitis C.
If you do have some risk factors, then you certainly want to know if you cleared the virus or not. If not, there are therapies for hepatitis C. Also remember that not everyone gets hepatitis C disease even if they are infected.
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