Sep 24, 2008
I received word today that I have a reactive hep c test. 9.37 My concern is I had blood transfusions 15-17 years ago for cancer treatments. WOuld it take that long to show? I have had two children since should I be concerned for them and my husband?? What should my next steps be and where are the best Dr's in the country for this treatment?
Response from Dr. McGovern
It is perhaps possible that you did not have testing for HCV in the past and this is the first time you have been tested since your risk.
The diagnostic test first came out in 1992 so if you were tested, I would have expected positive antibodies then, unless you were very immunosuppressed.
If you are right about the timing of the transfusions, then it is possible that you did get transfused with contaminated blood before the availability of HCV testing.
I still wouldn't jump to conclusions though that you are infected. First you will need HCV RNA testing to see if you even have any virus in your blood. If you already cleared the virus, then you would not have liver disease from HCV.
If there is no detectable virus, the other possibility is that your antibody is a "false positive test". In this case, a more specific test, such as a RIBA would be helpful to sort that out.
Finally if you are positive and you do have virus in your blood, then I would first get a liver biopsy to see if you even have liver disease and I would check a HCV genotype and viral load to get an idea of the type of infection you have.
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