A pathologist will determine stage and grade by looking at a sample of liver tissue from biopsy. Stage attempts to define the amount of inflammation present, while grade relates to the fibrosis, or scarring that has occurred.
There are several different scales used, but the most common currently in use in North America seems to be the Metavir scale. It uses a scale of 0 through 4; 0,1,2,3 are considered to be fibrosis, with stage 4 cirrhosis. There are also systems that use scales of 1-6, so it’s important to determine which method pathology is using.
If you haven’t already, take a look at the following site:
It is a good, easy to navigate primer on HCV, just click on any item of interest in the blue box on their home page. They have a whole section that explains stage and grade if you want to research this a little further. Sorry to hear it’s still around to deal with; your situation is typical of many of us… my most prominent risk of exposure occurred in the early-seventies.
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