Hepatitis C Viral RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR Most Popular

The Hepatitis C Viral RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR test contains 1 test with 2 biomarkers.

Description: Hepatitis C Viral RNA Quantitative is a blood test that detects and measures Viral HCV RNA in the blood. This test is used to check if a patient has an active Hepatitis C infection.

Also Known As: HCV Test, HCV RNA Test, HCV Viral Load Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Hepatitis C Viral RNA test ordered?

When an antibody test is positive, more testing is required to confirm an active infection, such as an HCV RNA test or viral load. In some labs, if the HCV antibody test is positive, this test will be run immediately.

Testing for HCV viral load may be required before starting therapy, on a regular basis to track treatment response, and at the end of treatment to gauge its efficacy.

What does a Hepatitis C Viral RNA test check for?

The liver infection known as hepatitis C is brought on by a virus and is characterized by liver inflammation and destruction. Hepatitis C tests are a collection of tests used to identify, pinpoint, and track the progress of a hepatitis C virus infection. The most popular HCV test checks for blood antibodies created in response to an HCV infection. Other tests identify the specific subtype of the virus or measure the quantity or presence of viral RNA.

One of the five hepatitis viruses known to cause the disease, along with hepatitis A, B, D, and E, is hepatitis C. HCV is spread through contact with contaminated blood, primarily through the sharing of needles by intravenous drug users, but it can also be transmitted through sex with an infected person, through occupational exposure in the healthcare industry, and, less frequently, from a mother to her unborn child during childbirth. Before HCV testing were made available in the 1990s, blood transfusions were a common way for HCV to spread.

There is presently no vaccination to prevent infection with HCV, despite the fact that it is less contagious than hepatitis B. In North America, hepatitis C infection is a typical contributor to chronic liver disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were roughly 30,500 cases of acute hepatitis C in the United States in 2014, and there are between 2.7 and 3.9 million Americans who have chronic hepatitis C.

Many infected people exhibit no symptoms and are unaware of their illness. The acute HCV infection may not manifest any symptoms or only mild, nonspecific ones, whereas the chronic infection may go unnoticed for ten or twenty years before producing enough liver damage to impair liver function.

Hepatitis C antibody tests are used to check for the infection in persons, such as those with risk factors but no visible symptoms, those who have hepatitis or liver disease symptoms, or those who have been exposed to the virus.

A positive antibody test is followed by a hepatitis C RNA test, which detects the genetic material of the virus, because the antibody test can remain positive in the majority of patients even though they have recovered from the infection. A positive RNA test result indicates the virus is present, the infection has not cleared up, and treatment may be necessary.

A liver panel is a collection of tests that doctors might conduct to evaluate the condition of the liver.

Lab tests often ordered with a Hepatitis C Viral RNA test:

  • Hepatitis C Antibody Test
  • Hepatitis A Testing
  • Hepatitis B Testing
  • Acute Hepatitis Panel
  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Bilirubin
  • AST
  • ALT
  • GGT

Conditions where a Hepatitis C Viral RNA test is recommended:

  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatitis B
  • Liver Disease

How does my health care provider use a Hepatitis C Viral RNA test?

Hepatitis C tests are used to detect and identify the presence of the hepatitis C virus, to direct therapy, and/or to track the progress of an HCV infection.

The HCV RNA test finds and counts the amount of viral RNA in the blood. This examination may be used to identify an ongoing infection and confirm the virus's existence. By comparing the amount of virus before and after treatment, viral load tests are also used to assist measure the effectiveness of the medication.

What do my Hepatitis C Viral RNA test results mean?

If the virus is present, the HCV viral load test results are given as a number. The result is frequently labeled "negative" or "not detected" if there is no virus present or if the virus concentration is too low to detect it.

The individual has an active infection if the HCV RNA test is positive. If no HCV viral RNA is found, either the person does not have an active infection or there are extremely few copies of the virus in their system.

An HCV viral load can show whether or not treatment is working for monitoring purposes. A high or rising viral load can indicate that the treatment is ineffective, whereas a low, falling, or undetectable viral load might suggest that it is.

Soon after starting treatment, a successful course of treatment induces a reduction in viral load of 99% or more, and after treatment is finished, the viral load is typically undetectable. An undetectable viral load in a treated person's blood 12 weeks after the completion of treatment indicates that the HCV infection has responded to therapy, per recommendations from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Disease Society of America.

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: Hepatitis C Viral RNA Quantitative RealTime PCR

HCV RNA, Quantitative

HCV RNA, Quantitative

*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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