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viral load?
Hi,  I was recently told I am positive for Hepatitis C and my "signal to cut-off" is 2.72.  Is that my viral load and if so, is it possible for that low number to cause significant liver damage if I have had it a long time.  I had a blood transfusion in 1979 and in the late 1980's I was told I tested positive for Hepatitis C but it could be a false positive.  Now the doctor says my liver is "huge" and my liver tests are elevated along with tests for inflamation, and a lot of other stuff.  Have to have more test I'm told but just trying to get a handle on this in the meanwhile.  Thanks for any help.
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766573 tn?1365170066
Did you only have the one test that had the result of a signal to cutoff ratio? If so, the signal to cutoff ratio is a value is used to predict the likelihood that you have been exposed to Hepatitis C and there is presence of the Hepatitis C Antibody **not* the actual Hepatitis C Virus itself.


Your positive for the antibody, elevated liver enzymes and the doctor's other findings all indicate you ought to test the HCV PCR to see if you are actively infected and confirm the virus is detected in your blood. If that test is positive and within the limits of detection then the result will produce a viral load.

In short: you might want to call the doctor and ask for a physical copy of the tests you took. One of the tests must be "HCV PCR.

Best of luck

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Thank you for your help.  I do have a copy of my tests and there is no test HCV PCR.  I am being sent to a gastroenterologist for more testing but my appointment is not for another month.  I was just hoping to understand more about this so I would know what questions to ask.  
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1840891 tn?1431551393
You may have had the virus for a long time now, your liver enzymes are elevated and your liver is "huge". I would like to suggest that you ask for an appointment with an actual hepatologist rather than a gastroenterologist. The hepatologist will have much more specific training and experience in liver disease and is much better equipped to deal with HCV and resultant liver damage. I went to a gastroenterologist when I first had signs of liver disease (in 1986) but as soon as he diagnosed HCV he suggested that I would be in better hands with a hepatologist, and although I really liked the first guy, I'm awfully glad he referred me on. We've seen too many people being treated by doctors with inadequate training and knowledge. Best wishes!
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Thanks for the reply, my doctor is a gastro doc who specializes in hepatology.  I'll see what he says before I decide if I need someone different.  But I am confused about something.  If I had hepatitis c in the past, does that mean I am always contagious or am I only contagious when the virus is active in me?  Seems there are a lot of questions that need answers with this virus.
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