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false positive for hep c
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false positive for hep c

  What are the most common causes for a false positive hepatitus (hepatitis) c test ? I recently tested positive for hep c; all subsequent tests were inconclusive or negative and a liver biopsy revealed no hep c. I have worried since about other illnesses that might ahve caused the false positive.  
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Dear Ray:
Your question is an excellent one and one to which I am eager to respond.
Some patients have a positive hepatitis C antibody test but have a negative HCV RNA (PCR) and normal liver enzymes and in some cases a normal liver biopsy.  The most appealing explanation for this is that the individual was exposed to hepatitis C but managed to eliminate the virus on their own.  About 10 to 15% of people will eliminate the hepatitis C virus on their own.  Many of these people will remain hepatitis C antibody positive.  It is also possible to obtain a positive hepatitis C antibody without being exposed to the virus if you have received blood products that contain antibody (immunoglobulin or gamma-globulin).  These are the most common ways of obtaining a positive hepatitis C antibody without having any evidence of an on-going infection.  I am sure there are others.  
I hope this information is helpful to you.  Good luck with your situation. If you have any additional questions or concerns, you can post them through MEDHELP or contact us directly at Henry Ford.  The direct number to our liver clinic is: (313) 916-8865.  At Henry Ford, we have a very active group of hepatologists with a strong interest in the care and research of hepatitis C.
This response is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation.  Always check with your personal physician when you have a question physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.





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