- Hepatitis C test is done to detect the presence of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the body. HCV infection can be spread by exposure to HCV-positive blood and sharing personal care items such as razors.
- Hepatitis C testing not only helps in diagnosis but also monitors treatment provided for HCV infection.
- HCV infection can progress to liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, liver cancer, and inflammation, and liver damage.
- Therefore, early detection of the virus may help to monitor liver function, identify the presence of a chronic infection, and provide rapid treatment.
Reason to do this Test
- Hepatitis C testing is recommended for those who have had human immunodeficiency virus infection in the past, received blood transfusions, received organ transplants, and injected drugs.
- People who use illicit drug injections, have a piercing or tattoo, receive abnormal liver panel test results, have been on dialysis for a long time, have been born to an HCV-positive mother, and have a sexual relationship with HCV infection Is a partner. HCV will also have to undergo this test.
- HCV testing is also performed in people when the following symptoms of liver disease are seen:
- dark urine
- Pain during urination,
- decreased appetite loss,
- severe liver disease symptoms,
- abdominal pain,
- ankles and feet Inflammation includes mental confusion
How is it done?
A blood sample is drawn from a vein in the arm and stored in a vial attached to the needle. There may be slight discomfort at the time of the needle stick, which will disappear within a few minutes.
Indication of Hepatitis C Test Results
- Normal hepatitis C test results indicate the absence of HCV infection in the body, although the infection can still be accurately detected with this test.
- If HCV infection is still suspected, a retest is recommended.
- Positive or uncertain test results indicate the absence of HCV.
- People with this result may not have an infection or may have had an infection in the past.
This is determined by additional tests that are:
- HCV viral load test,
- HCV genotyping test,
- Quantitative HCV RNA test and qualitative HCV RNA test.
- These tests help determine the presence and amount of HCV virus in the blood.
- Abnormal hepatitis C RNA test results indicate the presence of an HCV infection, and the amount of viral load present in the body helps determine the required treatment. The latter also helps control the effectiveness of hepatitis C treatment.
(Disclaimer: Information provided in this piece of article is purely for educational purposes only. All results must be clinically correlated with the patient’s data to make an accurate diagnosis.)
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Testing Recommendations for Hepatitis C Virus Infection.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services, Hepatitis C Questions and Answers for Health Professionals