Avatar universal

Just found out

Applied for life insurance.  I tested positive for hcv. I had another test that confirmed and my 1st drs appt isn't until jan.28th.  Thank goodness for the Internet and helpful people because this is confusing to me.  My signal to cut off is shows greater than 11.0.  Could someone please tell me what this number means? I know drs practice differently,  but what can I expect on my first visit?  Viral load testing?  Thank you for your help.
16 Responses
2061362 tn?1353279518
The signal to cutoff ratio has to do with the chance of a false positve. When you say you had another test to confirm, was it another antibody test or a PCR. If it was another antibody test, your Dr. will order a PCR to confirm you in fact have HCV. Some people do clear the virus on their own, but would still test positive for the antibodies. You can also expect more blood tests, at the very min. a CBC and a comprehensive metabolic panel.

If your Dr. has already done a PCR and confirmed an actual HCV infection, He will likely talk about finding out the status of your liver damage and perhaps will discuss potential treatment options or the possibility of waiting to do treatment.
3230925 tn?1397615965
"signal to cut off" I don't know what that means either.

What tests did you get ? Are you seeing a hepatologist or GI?

If you only tested for antibodies,then that doesn't mean you have the virus.Next step would probably be a LFT(Liver function tests) and then a HCV PCR RNA test which would probably be a -Qualitative viral load tests — These tests determine the presence of HCV
RNA in the blood. This type of test is usually used to confirm chronic infection with HCV.  If viral RNA is detected, a positive result is reported; if viral RNA is not detected, the test result is negative.

  If you are positive then next step would be a test to determine what genotype you are.Then depending on your doctor you may get a biopsy done or he or she may have you done a non invasive method so they can determine how much liver damage you have.From there you will have some other tests done all depending on the results the other tests I mentioned.

Best wishes

Avatar universal
Thank you both so much for responding.  The dr I will be seeing is a hepatologist.
The first test was called a anti-hcv (qualitative)
The second was called a cav reflex

I tried to look up cav and couldn't find a answer.  Maybe I misunderstood.
I do know  the ALT (sgpt) was 61

It has been a relief just to talk to someone who understands.  God bless you
Avatar universal
I sent a reply but didn't reply to you personally.  
Avatar universal
I sent a reply but just now noticed I could do it personally.  Ty
3230925 tn?1397615965
Welcome to the forum,so you had an anti HCV test.This test only determines  if you have the antibodies.Again to determine if you have the virus you will have an RNA test.I don't know what a cav reflex test is.

You probably had an LFT,so your ALT is at 61,this is not high,my labs upper limit for ALT is 60.The AST and ALT numbers don't determine if you have Hep C or amount of liver damage if you do have.Many normal healthy people have over the limit AST and ALT counts sometimes,this could for a number of reasons.Best of luck on your next tests.You may even not have the HCV
2061362 tn?1353279518
I never heard of a reflex test either, but did find this. Not sure if it is what you wrote though. If it is, your Dr may have already done a PCR, maybe using the same blood sample.? Hmmm never heard of this but not too sure.


Anyway, You'll find out more at your appointment. Keep us posted.
2114467 tn?1358210256
Hi there,
Not absolutely sure, but from reading a bit, I think the reference "reflex" is the action taken when the antibody test scores > than 10.
Given you are waiting on your appt., it would be best to get copies of your prior lab work ( easy to do ), and all future labs.  

Oops, meant to say, if antibody test is above 10, they then do the quantitative test which measures viral load and this confirms whether or not you have hep C. Your doc should be able to tell you if the quantitative test was done; call him up.
Because the tests are pretty sensitive, they have the cut off points as a gauge to whether or not to do the more expensive quantitative test.

Waiting for appts. Is a drag, but it gives you time to do some reading up on hcv. Wishing. You the best.
96938 tn?1189799858
The term "reflex" means:  if the result is "x", then do "y".  In your situation the initial HCV antibody test was done probably via ELISA (not a lab tech's name).  Based on the result (the signal to cut-off ratio) they "reflexed" to a subsequent test with the same blood sample.  The subsequent test was probably via RIBA (also not a lab tech's name) which is supplemental testing by RIBA or nucleic acid testing.  

So, my guess is that you have the antibodies fer sure.  The needed test is a viral load test to validate whether you have the virus or not.

Avatar universal
with your result of 11.0 then chance of a false positive is 5% or less. if it was me I wouldn't want to wait until Jan to see hep doc then do pcr test. then wait another 2 weeks for results (average time for pcr result)

I would ask primary doctor to order the PCR test now.

best of luck
2114467 tn?1358210256
You say you had a second blood test, and everyone seems to be wondering if this was the pcr test. It should be done before your doctor visit, especially since your appt is not till Jan. as someone has already stated.
You've found a good place to get your questions answered, so visit often and ask away. 'Luck
Avatar universal
I just called primary doc and requested a viral load per your suggestion.  I just LOVE you people!!!  Thank you so much for helping me!!!!  God bless you all!
Avatar universal
Ok ...pcr test done..I will let you know results and again,  I can't thank you all enough
Avatar universal
Hoping test comes back negative for you. This will mean you only have the antibodies and your immune system was able to fight off the virus at time of exposure.

Best of luck
3230925 tn?1397615965
Hoping test comes back negative for you. This will mean you only have the antibodies and your immune system was able to fight off the virus at time of exposure.

Did someone already that..lol

i think copyman's echoed post into mine.

Crossing my fingers for you Redken :)

If it comes out negative HURRAY for you, but do know having the antibodies doesn't you're immune to the virus,you could still get it if you put yourself at risk in getting it.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much guys.   In 1980,  I had a blood transfusion.  Worked for a general practioner from 1988-1993.  During that time I did receive a needle stick. Quit that profession because it wasn't for me.  Went back to hairstyling (recently retired from)  which I would Cut myself every once in a while.  Always put a bandaid on,  but gosh, was I really careful enough?  I just remember doc suggested an HIV test, because of the needle stick and transfusion,but never a peep about hcv.  It really pisses me off.  After researching this and reading all these posts,  it breaks my heart for what you all are going through. I do take responsibility for my health but think the docs should give you a "heads up" on things...well, that ends my 30 sec history and vent session
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