I had blood work done through my primary care physician and he said that I tested greater than 11 on the Hep panel test. My liver enzymes were normal. He recommended my Hep C doctor run titers. I was diagnosed originally in 2005 and underwent treatment for Hep C. So what does the "greater than 11" mean? He said it shows the virus is present, but could be inactive??
Booboo, it sounds like the results are from a HCV antibody test; those are the signal to cut-off numbers. If you were previously infected with HCV, then you will always test positive for antibodies; there is no point in repeating this particular test in the future.
For active RNA virus status, you will need a ‘HCV RNA by PCR’ test; this will tell you if active RNA virus is present. Request this test, and let us know what the results are.
I just don't understand how a person can go through med school and come out not knowing what antibodies are. It is what our body makes in response to an attack from something, and they are there for life. (at least the antibodies to this virus anyhow). Heck... they taught this to all nurses, lab techs, xray techs, and dental hygienists in BIO225. If the real virus was in your blood, it would be active... that is the nature of the beast.
Thank you so much for your input. I was kind of at a loss when he gave me the results. The only thing I know is my doc did a full Hep panel blood test. I needed to have a full blood work-up done anyway, but was concerned because of fatigue lately. He is aware that I had undergone treatment in the past. He did say that the virus is present, but did not know if it was active?? He is submitting the results to my Hep C doctor and said that they may want to run "titers". Just been a little confusing to me. Would you suggest I go ahead and contact my Hep C doc? Should I have the titers run? I am currently unemployed and don't have any insurance, so hoping if so, they'll work with me.
Booboo, what was the outcome of the treatment? Were you told you had successfully eradicated the virus?
If you were infected in the past, you will always test positive for antibodies; there isn’t any reason to ever check this again.
If you didn’t clear the virus with your previous treatment, don’t know if you cleared the virus previously, or have engaged in risky behavior *since* treatment, then it would be a good idea to contact your HCV doc and have them run the ‘HCV RNA by PCR’ test to see if you currently infected.
I don’t know how else to clarify this; if you don’t understand, I’ll try a different tact.
Thanks Bill. I completed my treatments and last blood tests showed undetectable, "0" viral load or "0" count. No, I'm a 51 year old female and haven't engaged in any risky behavior. I contracted Hep C from a blood transfusion for an ectopic pregnancy in 1985. I realize I've always had the virus, but it wasn't detected until 2005. I was fortunate because when they detected the Hep C, I had an extremely low count. I may be incorrect in saying "count", but that's the way it was always relayed to me. I appreciate your advice and will contact my HCV doc.
The word we use for cure is ‘SVR’, or Sustained Viral Response. This is defined by completing the assigned course of treatment with a 0 viral load, as you did. Then, after going six months, still without meds, we check viral load again; if still clear of virus at this juncture, it will not return (unless we are reinfected from a new source). If you didn’t do follow up viral testing after completing therapy, you should definitely do so; roughly 50% of genotype 1 patients will relapse within thirty days post treatment.
Good advice from everyone, you definitely need clarification from your doc or a PCR test
He could have meant that the virus was present in small quantities and assumed it wasn't very active. Although viral load does not correlate with with the grade of inflammation. I noticed that on my last biopsy one of the two pathologists that looked at my slides interpreted my grade as 3 and said I have very active disease.
It wouldn't have changed anything if you went back after 6 months. It would only have told you if you eliminated the virus or not. It's time to get a PCR test and find out if your doctor has not already done one. An dr experienced in treating hep c will always do a 6 months post treatment pcr test to see if you have relapsed. I hope that the result is good when you take the new test.
The six month post treatment PCR test is the benchmark for determining success; without it, there really isn’t any way of knowing what is going on. Simple liver function tests (ALT/AST) can sometimes offer a clue, but even those aren’t definitive.
Get tested with ‘HCV RNA by PCR’ and ask for hard copies of the results. This test takes about 10-14 days to turn results around back to the doctor.
Thanks Dave! I pray that everything is okay. If I have to go through treatment again, then I will absolutely do it. I was seeing a very renowned HCV doctor. It's my fault I didn't go back for a follow-up. I had lost my job at that time, losing health insurance. My HCV doctor didn't do blood work at his office for patients without health insurance, so I was supposed to go to a different lab for my blood work, but didn't. My only worry now, depending on outcome, is that I don't have health insurance.
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