chronic hepatitis C

Question

I've been diagnosed with Hepatitis C. Is there a procedure that can determine wheather the chronic illness has been in me for twenty years or if it is recent? Also would being on treatment affect the conclusion of such a procedure?

Answer

The only way to estimate the duration of chronic hepatitis C is to do a liver biopsy. If there is fibrosis (scarring) or cirrhosis, then the infection has probably been around longer, since it usually takes years for these complications to occur. Successful treatment may affect the extent of the fibrosis, but I doubt it would eliminate it entirely.