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Avatar universal

To high Viral load

Hello guys. Hope you are doing well. I have been diagnosed with Hep C and according to the test done I have genotype 1B. Viral load is saying smth like 1.7 x 10^8 IU per ml. This means that is 170 million and multiply with 2.7 is around 400 million. Could this be true because I have weeks that I am reading and I did not seen such value?! For the moment I have only a enlarged mild liver as a symtom and a bitter toung after eating. Also I have 3 week that i am eating only vegetable and drinking gren tea and ginger tea.
18 Responses
1815939 tn?1377991799
Welcome to the forum.

I am not sure why you are multiplying the number by 2.7.

It looks to me like your viral load is 1.7 million or 1,700,000.

See below. It appears that yours is calculated by using the  Exponential format:

    2.) Viral loads given by virus count

    a.) Plain numbers

    Often the virus count is expressed as a plain number, like 1.73 million, or 1,730,000 or 1730000. Millions sometime are abbreviated by the prefix "M" (Mega). So when you see 1.73 Meq/ml, it means 1.73 Mega-equivalents/ml or again 1,730,000 equivalents/ml.  Sometimes also the prefix  "k" (kilo) is used, it means thousands.

    the following ways to express the viral load are only rarely seen today:

    b.) Exponential format

    Large numbers are often expressed in exponential form, that means a number, multiplied by 10 with an exponent. To convert this to normal numbers, append as many zeroes to a "1" as the exponent says, and multiply this with the number. Exponential numbers might show up in a form like 1.73x106 or 1.73x10(exp)6 or 1.73x10^6 which are all the same number 1,730,000.


Also, if you have an enlarged liver, have you had a biopsy? Or do you mean you had a liver biopsy and it showed that you have mild liver damage. Are you planning to do treatment?

Best of luck.
3230925 tn?1397615965
Not sure about your test results either.Could it be that you just contracted the virus and are at the acute phase in which case the viral load count  would be way up there so would be your liver enzymes.If you are in the acute phase I would suggest you eat a high protein diet,your body fights off the virus with it's natural interferons and they need a lot of protein to fight off viruses.
Avatar universal
Hello and thank you for your quick reply. On the test is written:
"in you blood samples we found 1.7x10^8 international unit IU of the RNA virus per ml
*Note 1IU is equal to 2.7 virus copy.
For the moment I do not have any sign expect some liver enlargement that after two week of green diet is going slowly back to. Other blood test are showing below
ALT (SGPT)                56.8            U/L
AST(SGOT)                38.4            U/L
Direct Bilurbin             0.354          mg/dL
Indirect Bilurbin           0.61            mg/dL
Total bilurbin               0.962          mg/dL
Anti-HAV                    60 pos        IU/L
Anti-HCV                    40.1 POS     IU/L
HBsAg                        0.587 NEG    

Serum protein electrophresis
Fraction                                 %                
Albumin                                55.1
Alpha 1                                  4
Alpha 2                                10.9
Beta                                      9.7
Gamma                                20.3

Virus Genotype                     1b

I was doing ultrasound again today when doctor noticed that my liver is decreasing size to normal.
Guys really do not understand that high value and if you do the multiplying of 1.7 x 10^ x 2.7 you go close to 450 million. I have to see the doctor tomorrow.
Avatar universal
Guys really do not understand that high value and if you do the multiplying of 1.7 x 10^8 x 2.7 you go close to 450 million. I have to see the doctor tomorrow.
3230925 tn?1397615965
Keep us posted on what your doctor says,pooh as provided good insights and the web links to explain how viral load is calculated.

wishing u All The besT

Avatar universal
I met the doctore and he told me that I must start the therapy. Interferon + ribavirin. But is not that I have to start imediatelly. The liver conditions are good over all. The next week we will have to meet another doctor when to start with therapy. He never mentioned to me the viral load.  Anyway if somebody can help me about this issue feel free please.
1815939 tn?1377991799
Do you have any idea how long you have had the Hepatitis C virus? In other words, have you had the actual Hepatitis C virus in your blood for longer than 6 months.

According to the current guidelines (the new standard of care for Genotype 1), if you have Hepatitis C 1b, you should treat with the 3 medication regimen. That would be Interferon, Ribavirin, and a Protease Inhibitor (either Telaprevir or Boceprevir).

I realize you live in Albania and perhaps the Protease Inhibitors are not available in Albania. However, the Protease Inhibitors greatly improve the chance for cure so if you have access to taking all three drugs, it may be beneficial.

The Protease Inhibitors raise the chance for cure to 75-80 percent, depending on various factors. Taking only Interferon and Ribavirin has a much lower cure rate.



Avatar universal
Hi pooh55811 and thank you very much for you replies. I have asked doctor about the way that I might have been taking because I have done a very regular life, no piercing, not a tatu, not any kind of drugs even never smoke a marijuana cigarettes. He told me that this is not important. He was mostly focused on the cure and now that I am remembering he told for 3 medicines. But before starting all the therapies I will all my test redone. Here in Albania there is no laboratories that does such test and my blood samples have been send and analysed in Greece. I have arranged a meeting cloose to Torino Hospital in Italy where i will have all my test done again. As i told I did a eco for the liver and the doctor told me that the liver is going to normal size. My liver is a fatty one, but I think that might be due to malnutrition due to the fact that I have cunsume not green food. Always fried food. The doctor told me except the fat the shape is ok, there are no scars in it and look like most of the liver he had seen up now. It might be the food the cause of the fatty liver or might be the virus we will see what the dooctor will tell me. I had most of my teeth before 6 months and I also had a surgery before 10 years ago. I will se what Italian doctor will tell me. If you have suggestion or any advice fill free. Again a big thank for your replies.
163305 tn?1333668571
First of all, please forget about viral loads. They are only important when you are doing treatment. The viral load will show if the treatment is working.
Viral load amount had nothing to do with how damaged your liver may be.

The fact that the labs are outside your country could be problematic.

Your doctor's description of your liver sounds like you do not have swelling or cirrhosis but it does not tell us if you have any damage, any fibrosis.

If your liver is healthy, other than the fatty liver, you might want to wait before jumping into treatment. Within a few years, better treatments will be available which may not require such close monitoring.

To further explain, when I did treatment, I took my interferon shot, 6 days late I did a lab, and before my next shot, on day 7, my nurse could tell me if I needed to change what I was doing.

My suggestion is you ask your doctor exactly what they plan to do for monitoring your treatment.

Here is a link with some questions for your doctor:
Avatar universal
I'm doing all 3 and my doc said 48 weeks I have Geno type 1 with no damage just a little scarring. After the 5th week I changed Doctors. The new Doctor said I would Only need 24 weeks not 48, because of doing the triple thearapy and having no damage. Is this sounding correct? I want to be able to trust my Doctor but my first one really gave me some bad info.
1815939 tn?1377991799
Welcome to the forum.

Length of treatment depends on several factors. If you can give us more information, we can respond more accurately.

Is this the first time you have ever treated?

If you treated in the past, what was your response? (Relapse, Partial Responder, Non-responder, Null Responder, Viral Breakthrough)

Which drugs are you treating with?

Did you have a viral load done at 4 weeks?

What was your starting viral load and what was your 4 week viral load?

Did you have a Liver Biopsy to determine the amount of liver fibrosis you have?
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply. I will do a complete test again in Italy. There, I will see what they are going to suggest me. For sure I am going to wait if there is no reason. Thanks God there are sites like this, that really help people like me to be inform about this issue.  I do not drink alcool at all, from one month my favorite drinks now are, ginger tea (a bit with strong taste) and green tea with no sugar in it, cottage cheese milk. Food are green cabbages, beans, carrots, green salad, spinach and brown rice. lots of virgin olive oil (home made) and also honoy home made, cottage cheese home made. As fruits I am eating a lot of apples and some annanas too. Are those food the proper one? If not please suggest me anything else.
163305 tn?1333668571
Your diet sounds fine although believe it or not you could possibly help yourself by drinking several cups of coffee daily.

Caffeine consumption greater than 408mg/day (3 cups or more) is associated with reduced histological activity in patients with CHC. These findings support potential hepatoprotective properties of caffeine in chronic liver diseases.
Avatar universal
but I read somewhere that people diagnosed with HCV must avoid coffe beverage even cola is not good.
163305 tn?1333668571
It used to be thought that coffee was not good for people with liver disease.
( I'd stay away from coke, it's got not a natural drink)

The important thing when you read, is to look at the source and date. A person's blog, for instance, is just their opinion.

December 13, 2010

Coffee Slows Progression of Hep C Liver Disease

People living with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and advanced liver disease who drink three or more cups of coffee per day have a 53 percent lower risk of liver disease progression than non-coffee drinkers, according to a new study published in the November issue of Hepatology. According to the paper, authored by Neal Freedman, PhD, MPH, of the National Cancer Institute and his colleagues, patients with hepatitis C–related bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis who did not respond to standard treatment benefited from increased coffee intake.


June 7, 2011

Drinking Coffee Doubles Hep C Treatment Responses

Advanced hepatitis C patients with chronic liver disease may benefit from drinking coffee during treatment, according to a new study published in the June 2011 issue of Gastroenterology. Patients who received pegylated interferon plus ribavirin treatment and who drank three or more cups of coffee per day were two times more likely to respond to treatment, compared with those who didn't drink coffee.
1815939 tn?1377991799
If you can, while you are in Italy, maybe you can get a liver biopsy. The ultrasound will not tell your your liver fibrosis stage and you need to know your liver fibrosis stage to know how urgent it is to treat. The ultrasound won't tell you that information. The liver biopsy will give you the information you need concerning the fibrosis stage of your liver. Then you will have a better idea concerning if you should treat right away or if you can wait for the new treatments.

Keep in mind that the new treatments may not be available for 2-4 years, possibly longer.

Also keep in mind that Hepatitis C can affect all of the body, not just the liver. Many people have what are called extrahepatic manifestations of Hepatitis C. I had several extrahepatic manifestations of Hep C, including sytemic vasculitis. See the link below for a list of diseases/medical conditions that Hep C can cause.


Avatar universal
Hello pooh55811 and thank you again for your reply. I will do everything that doctor will tell me to do even biopsy if it is necessary. I read and saw some video on youtube that the biopsy can lead to mistake because the part you get can be healthy in fact can be otherwise. Is this true? Also I would like to ask you if you have any information about the danger of this procedure. Now the time here is clocking 1:28 am 01.01.2013 so Happy New Year to all of you.
1815939 tn?1377991799
True, the biopsy is not necessarily 100% accurate because it is a very small sample. The liver may be more damaged in some areas than in others. However, it is still considered very accurate and it is considered the Gold Standard for measuring liver fibrosis. If there are difference between the biopsied site and the rest of the liver, it will be by perhaps one stage in difference. Your liver will not be completely healthy with zero damage in one area and Stage 3 or 4 in another area. It might be Stage 2 in one area and Stage 3 in another area. Or it may be Stage 0 (healthy) in one area and Stage 1 in another area. So it may differ by 1 stage but not by many stages.

There is always danger in undergoing any procedure. With liver biopsy the danger could be bleeding, but danger is very low. If the doctor is skilled in the procedure he should know what he is doing. Also, they should check your clotting time and bleeding time before doing the procedure. They probably won't do the procedure if you don't clot fast enough or something is wrong with your clotting or bleeding times. (There is also a possibility for infection or accidental injury to another nearby organ. However, these are not common.)

Here is some information from the Mayo Clinic. I know you have been reading and researching so maybe you have seen it already, but if not, it will give you some more information:


When I had my biopsy the doctor used a CT scan to guide him. Some doctors use ultrasound to guide them. It was very quick and was over in just a few minutes.

Happy New Year to you also. I hope all goes well with your doctor visit.
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