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RNA test reliability
Jan 3, 2012

I'm in an unusual situation. I came in contact with a syringe. Anyway, convinced I had contracted something, I've gon in for some tests.

At 3.5 weeks, my hep c rna test came back negative. At ten weeks, my ALT spiked to 104 then dropped to 79 the next week. My HCV RNA test came back negative as did the antibody. Since I have had hep b before, my doctor said that my hep b antibodies were active and he found no virus so he assumes I did contract hep b and my body was taking care of it. He will monitor my ALT in the next few weeks. He deals with infectious disease and told me 100% I did not contact hep c. (but he also said that about the first test and when my liver enzymes elevated, he said it might have been hiding in my liver... I don't know what to believe)

Is this accurate, or should I continue to test for hep c?

Response from Dr. McGovern

In acute Hepatitis C infection, the virus goes up before the liver function tests. So the fact that they went up - without detectable virus - makes me think that there is an alternative reason for their elevation. But I agree that there is no evidence of acute HCV infection.



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