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Test accuracy-antibody vas PCR
Jan 15, 2008

Dr. McGovern,

Thank you for your help and comfort in answering questions from a worried public. Regarding testing accuracy, which is more accurate/recommended-EIA or PCR ? I have tested neg @ 3&6 months via EIA. My concern is related to coinfection or other extenuating circumstances which may affect the test result. Should I consider the neg EIA @ 3& 6 months conculsive and definitive ?

Response from Dr. McGovern

I assume you are asking me about testing for HCV infection. For routine testing, we usually get antibody tests with an EIA. You only need PCR testing for virus itself if it is suspected that you have recently developed acute hepatitis. This is usually associated with abnormal liver function tests and occasionally symptoms as well.

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