|Lab Corp Results for Hepatitis C
Oct 20, 2012
I recently had blood work done by lab corp to test for hep c and the result reads as follows: Hepatitis C quantitation 119,960 IU/ml HCV under the heading HCV RT-PCR, Quant (Graph) then under the heading HCV Genotyping non reflex Hepatitis C Genotype 2??? Any help will be appreciated since the dr set my next appt for Dec 3
Response from Dr. Taylor
The quantitative RT-PCR test result indicates that you have hepatitis C virus circulating in your blood and being produced in your liver cells. A level less than 400,00 IU/ml is considered a low viral load; someone with chronic hepatitis C with a low viral load is easier to cure with available treatments versus someone with a high hepatitis C viral load, defined as higher than 400,00 IU/ml.
There are several strains of the hepatitis C virus, called genotypes. Your tests results demonstrate that you have genotype 2 infection. This is the most curable type of hepatitis C with available therapies.
If you could have been exposed to hepatitis C within the past 6 months, it is important to recheck the hepatitis C viral load to establish whether you have chronic hepatitis C or whether your body cleared the hepatitis C on its own, which can occur in approximately 15-20% of people in the first weeks-months after exposure. In the new period of hepatitis C infection, called acute hepatitis C, the viral load can fluctuate from very high to very low levels. So, if you have had a recent potential exposure, another reason to have the hepatitis C viral load by PCR rechecked is to determine where the hepatitis C viral loaded ended up, as high or low.
If you do turn out to have developed chronic hepatitis C, of all the types of hepatitis C to have, genotype 2 low viral load is as good as it gets, as the infection is highly curable.
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