Hepatitis C Antibody & Liver Function Panel

The Hepatitis C Antibody & Liver Function Panel panel contains 2 tests with 12 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The Hepatitis C Antibody & Liver Function Panel is a comprehensive diagnostic tool used to detect the presence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies and assess liver function. This panel includes the Hepatitis C Antibody with Reflex to Quantitative HCV RNA PCR test, along with a series of liver function tests: Albumin, Albumin/Globulin Ratio, Alkaline Phosphatase, Alanine Transaminase (ALT), Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST), Bilirubin Direct, Bilirubin Indirect, Bilirubin Total, Globulin, and Protein Total. This panel is crucial for diagnosing HCV infection and evaluating the liver's health and functionality.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why the Hepatitis C Antibody & Liver Function Panel May Be Ordered

The Hepatitis C Antibody & Liver Function Panel is often ordered when a patient has symptoms indicative of liver disease, such as jaundice, fatigue, or abdominal pain, or has risk factors for hepatitis C infection, such as a history of intravenous drug use, blood transfusions before 1992, or exposure to HCV. It's also used to monitor the liver health of patients known to be infected with HCV or undergoing treatment for hepatitis C.

What the Hepatitis C Antibody & Liver Function Panel Checks For

  • Hepatitis C Antibody with Reflex to Quantitative HCV RNA PCR: Detects antibodies to the hepatitis C virus as an initial screen. If positive, the test reflexes to a quantitative PCR to measure the viral load, confirming active infection.

  • Albumin: Measures the level of albumin in the blood, a protein made by the liver, indicating the liver's synthetic function.

  • Albumin/Globulin Ratio: Compares the amounts of albumin and globulins in the blood, providing insight into liver function and the body's immune response.

  • Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP): Elevated levels can indicate liver damage or disease, particularly in the bile ducts.

  • Alanine Transaminase (ALT) and Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST): Enzymes found in the liver that, when elevated, indicate liver cell injury.

  • Bilirubin Direct, Bilirubin Indirect, and Bilirubin Total: Measure different forms of bilirubin in the blood, with abnormalities suggesting liver dysfunction or bile duct obstruction.

  • Globulin: Part of the immune system, globulin levels can indicate liver health and immune status.

  • Protein Total: Measures the total amount of albumin and globulin in the blood, providing a general status of nutritional health and liver function.

Conditions and Diseases Detected by the Panel

This panel is instrumental in diagnosing and managing conditions such as:

  • Hepatitis C Infection: Confirmed by the presence of HCV antibodies and a detectable viral load, indicating an active or past infection.

  • Liver Cirrhosis: Characterized by abnormal liver function tests, particularly albumin and bilirubin levels, suggesting advanced liver disease.

  • Hepatic Inflammation: Indicated by elevated ALT and AST levels, which can result from HCV infection or other liver insults.

  • Bile Duct Obstruction: Suggested by elevated levels of direct bilirubin and ALP, pointing to issues with bile flow.

Using the Hepatitis C Antibody & Liver Function Panel in Treatment and Monitoring

Healthcare professionals utilize this panel to:

  • Guide Hepatitis C Treatment: Confirming HCV infection and assessing liver damage is crucial for determining treatment options and monitoring the effectiveness of antiviral therapy.

  • Manage Liver Disease: Abnormal liver function test results can lead to further diagnostic testing, lifestyle modifications, or medical interventions to manage liver health.

  • Monitor Disease Progression: Regular testing can track the progression of liver disease in patients with chronic HCV infection, guiding adjustments in treatment and management strategies.

The Hepatitis C Antibody & Liver Function Panel is a vital tool in diagnosing hepatitis C infection and assessing liver health. By providing a comprehensive overview of liver function and the presence of HCV, this panel enables healthcare providers to diagnose, treat, and monitor patients effectively, improving outcomes for those with hepatitis C and related liver conditions.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: LFTs, Liver Function Tests, Liver Panel

Albumin

Albumin is a protein made by the liver. A serum albumin test measures the amount of this protein in the clear liquid portion of the blood.

Albumin/Globulin Ratio

The ratio of albumin to globulin (A/G ratio) is calculated from measured albumin and calculated globulin (total protein - albumin). Normally, there is a little more albumin than globulins, giving a normal A/G ratio of slightly over 1. Because disease states affect the relative amounts of albumin and globulin, the A/G ratio may provide a clue as to the cause of the change in protein levels. A low A/G ratio may reflect overproduction of globulins, such as seen in multiple myeloma or autoimmune diseases, or underproduction of albumin, such as may occur with cirrhosis, or selective loss of albumin from the circulation, as may occur with kidney disease (nephrotic syndrome). A high A/G ratio suggests underproduction of immunoglobulins as may be seen in some genetic deficiencies and in some leukemias. More specific tests, such as liver enzyme tests and serum protein electrophoresis, must be performed to make an accurate diagnosis. With a low total protein that is due to plasma expansion (dilution of the blood), the A/G ratio will typically be normal because both albumin and globulin will be diluted to the same extent.

Alkaline Phosphatase

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a protein found in all body tissues. Tissues with higher amounts of ALP include the liver, bile ducts, and bone.

Alt

Alanine transaminase (ALT) is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in the liver. Injury to the liver results in release of the substance into the blood.

AST

AST (aspartate aminotransferase) is an enzyme found in high amounts in liver, heart, and muscle cells. It is also found in lesser amounts in other tissues.

Bilirubin, Direct

Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. A small amount of older red blood cells are replaced by new blood cells every day. Bilirubin is left after these older blood cells are removed. The liver helps break down bilirubin so that it can be removed from the body in the stool.

Bilirubin, Indirect

Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. A small amount of older red blood cells are replaced by new blood cells every day. Bilirubin is left after these older blood cells are removed. The liver helps break down bilirubin so that it can be removed from the body in the stool.

Bilirubin, Total

Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. A small amount of older red blood cells are replaced by new blood cells every day. Bilirubin is left after these older blood cells are removed. The liver helps break down bilirubin so that it can be removed from the body in the stool.

Globulin

Globulins is the collective term for most blood proteins other than albumin. Identifying the types of globulins can help diagnose certain disorders. Globulins are roughly divided into three groups: alpha, beta, and gamma globulins. Gamma globulines include various types of antibodies such as immunoglobulins (Ig) M, G, and A.

Protein, Total

The total protein is the total amount of two classes of proteins, albumin and globulin that are found in the fluid portion of your blood. Proteins are important parts of all cells and tissues. Your albumin helps prevent fluid from leaking out of blood vessels and your globulins are an important part of your immune system.

Also known as: Anti HCV, HCV Antibody

Hepatitis C Antibody

The Hepatitis C Antibody Test, sometimes called the Anti-HCV Test, looks for antibodies to the Hepatitis C virus. Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream when someone gets infected.

Signal To Cut-Off

*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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