HEPATITIS C VIRUS TEST (HCV)
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What is Hepatitis C Virus?
Hepatitis C virus test is done to diagnose hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in human body. It is as well used to observe the suggested treatment for HCV. HCV (hepatitis C virus) results to an infection of the liver that is characterized through liver inflammation and damage. Standard test for HCV detects antibodies in the blood that are formed to counter an HCV infection in the body. However, other tests observe the presence of viral RNA, the quantity of viral RNA present, or decide the particular subtype of the virus.
Why is HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) test done?
For examining of hepatitis C infection, when you have risk factor elements for the infection.
For diagnosis of hepatitis C when you might have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus by means of contact with infected blood, or have signs and symptoms associated with liver disease.
What does HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) Measure?
Hepatitis C is one of the five hepatitis viruses known so far, with the following: A, B, D, and E that are acknowledged to trigger the disease. Hepatitis C virus leads to liver inflammation and damage. It goes in by exposure to contaminated blood, sharing of needles by intravenous drug users, sharing personal belongings contaminated through blood such as razors, by intercourse with an infected individual, through healthcare occupational exposure, and, not very common, from mother to infant through delivery.
It has been discovered that most infected individuals donot notice any symptoms which makes them ignorant of the condition. The acute hepatitis C virus infection may result to few moderate nonspecific symptoms. This chronic infection might also not exhibit any signs and symptoms for a decade or two earlier than inflicting adequate liver damage to have an effect on liver function.
Hepatitis C virus tests are used to detect people with risk factors, people who have signs associated with hepatitis or liver disease or those who have been exposed to the virus.
It is possible that the antibody test stays positive even after clearing the infection. So to further diagnose, the test is accompanied by a hepatitis C RNA test. This identifies the genetic material of the virus. A positive result on the RNA test may as well point out the virus is present, the infection has not resolved, and the requirement of treatment.
Most often, a liver panel test is also prescribed by using the doctor which will encompass a hepatitis C teat to assist ascertain the health of the liver.
INTERPRETING HCV (HEPATITIS C VIRUS) RESULTS/OUTCOME
Hepatitis C Virus test can be said to be "positive" or "negative." In general, if the hepatitis C virus test is positive, it proves that the person tested is infected or has probably been infected at some time with hepatitis C. If the hepatitis C virus RNA test is positive, then the person has a recent infection. However, if no HCV viral RNA is found, then the person does not have both an active infection or the virus is very low in numbers.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)
Q. Who need to be screened for hepatitis C virus?
Screening for HCV infections should be done through:
Injection drug users (past or present),
Recipient of blood or blood samples (red cells, platelets, and clean frozen plasma)
Recipient of blood from an HCV-positive donor
Persons with following associated conditions: HIV infection, Haemophilia.
Those who have been on hemodialysis
Those with unexplained unusual aminotransferase levels.
Children born to HCV-infected mothers
Healthcare workers after a needle stick damage or mucosal exposure to HCV-positive blood
Present sexual companions of HCV-infected men and women
Evidence of chronic liver sickness
HCV antibody testing can be prescribed by your doctor in case of abnormal outcomes on a liver panel for instance in the case of signs and symptoms and signs associated with hepatitis considered in a patient.
Q. What are the different tests which can also be demanded along with HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) testing?
Along with HCV testing, other examinations may also be required to further diagnose a present infection, to observe treatment, and to check the health of the liver. Tests to diagnose a recent infection and observe treatment: HCV RNA tests: HCV RNA check can be quantitative (HCV viral load) and qualitative (presence or absence of HCV RNA). Quantitative HCV RNA detects and measures the range of viral RNA particles in the blood. Whereas, qualitative HCV RNA is used to verify the presence of the virus and to diagnose an active infection. Viral load tests are also used before and all through treatment to assist determine response to treatment through evaluating the quantity of virus before and for the duration of treatment. Viral genotyping is used to identify the kind, or genotype, of the HCV existing to help guide treatment. There are five most important types of HCV and extra than 50 subtypes identified. Among them, the most frequent is genotype 1. The drugs chosen for treatment rely on the genotype of HCV infecting a person. Tests to decide well-being of liver: Liver assessments such as ALT and AST are used to show ongoing liver injury. People who have normal AST and ALT but are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), likely have very moderate liver sickness and may no longer need treatment. Other tests can be used to know the functioning of the liver such as albumin, prothrombin time, and bilirubin. Generally, the results of these tests are normal until the man or woman has developed cirrhosis. In some cases, a liver biopsy may as well be done to decide the severity of liver damage.
Q. How does hepatitis C spread?
Mainly, Hepatitis C is spread by way of exposure to contaminated/infected blood. The most common way of exposure is by using or sharing of needles often at some stage in illicit drug use. Other ways of transmission include occupational exposure of healthcare people to used needles (needle stick injury) or different sharp objects. Along with that, the infection can unfold with the aid of contaminated equipment for body piercing and tattooing, by sexual activity (less common) that leads to tissue tears, and from an infected mom to infant at some stage during delivery.
Q. What is chronic hepatitis C?
Chronic hepatitis C refers to the condition when HCV RNA has stayed in the blood for at least 6 months after the onset of acute infection. The danger of development of acute infection to chronic HCV infection include: Age at the time of infection (more if infection happens at age >25 years) Gender (males > females) Ethnicity (It is generally higher among Africans than in Caucasians and Hispanic whites) Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Hepatitis B virus Concomitant alcohol consumption Comorbid conditions like obesity, immunosuppression, cancer, insulin-resistance, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASh) etc.
: The information provided herein is for patient general knowledge only and should not be used during any medical emergency, for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Duplication for personal and commercial use must be authorized in writing by Surjen.com
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