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I tested positive for the hcv antibodies my doctor sent me to a hepatologist. That doctor said he was almost positive I did not have it after doing an examination asking about the risk factors and looking at my liver panels. He said all of my liver panels were perfectly normal. He Did however send me for the test to check my viral load. I guess my question is: Is it possible to be positive for the virus and have normal liver panels??
4 Responses
87972 tn?1322661239
Unfortunately, yes; roughly 25-30% of HCV + patients will have normal liver enzymes; at least some of the time, anyway. In fact, it’s possible to progress into cirrhosis with normal AST/ALT.

However, with normal enzymes and no known risk factors, there’s a very good chance the antibody results were false positive. This happens from time to time with HCV AB testing; these tests are designed to inexpensively screen large segments of the population, and rely heavily on follow up testing.

Good luck to you with the upcoming results,

179856 tn?1333547362
Why did the doctor test for it in the first place - it's a very unusual test to be run unless you think you have a reason you could indeed have the disease and most doctors won't even do it without a bit of a battle.

Unfortunately it is perfectly possible to have good liver enzymes and no symptoms so you do need to get the blood test and find out for sure.  Or you could have had it years ago but your immune system could have beaten it before you even knew you had it.

I never had any symptoms at all but I had very high enzyme levels.  On the other hand my husband got very sick when he first got it way before I did and his levels were always normal. He never did biopsy and he died recently so I'll never know what shape his liver was in (although I could get the autopsy I suppose it would be on that) I've always been curious.

Find out one way or the other.  It's not the kind of disease you can just ignore...usually when you have enough symptoms to know you have it it's really late in the game. If you've ever known someone who died of end stage liver disease it's not something you want, believe me.  Better to take care of it now.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
I have been sick for a while but I have had a lot more symptoms than normal with hep c my doctor ran a whole battery of tests on me hep c just happened to be one of them. The gastro doctor seems to think I have more of a nuerological problem so I don't know. The gastro did send me to check for a viral load I had that blood work done yesterday. I am just scared I have already been out of work over a month because my job asked me to take a leave because I have missed so much work over the past year and now I have been bounced from doctor to doctor and no one knows what's wrong!
87972 tn?1322661239
Hi Candace,

What a drag. The test you just took for viral load takes about 7 days to turn around for results; maybe call your doctor’s office next Wednesday or Thursday to follow up. Chronic Hep C is often asymptomatic, with most people reporting fatigue, if anything.

Hopefully, this is something they can find and address quickly. I wish you all the best with the upcoming results… if you have time, stop back in and let us know how it goes.

Good luck—

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