The doctor will take a detailed medical history, primarily concerning the possible possibility of HCV infection, and will examine the patient. Because chronic hepatitis C is usually asymptomatic, laboratory tests are needed to make the diagnosis.
An additional test that is most important in the diagnosis of hepatitis C is a blood test for the presence of anti-HCV antibodies – check it. These antibodies appear in the blood on average 7 weeks after infection. Earlier, about 1-3 weeks after infection, the genetic material of the virus, i.e. HCV RNA, can be detected in the blood, but it appears in the patient’s blood only periodically, therefore a single negative result does not rule out infection. An auxiliary diagnostic method is the determination of the HCV core antigen (HCVcAg) in the serum. At the onset of the disease, anti-HCV antibodies are present in 50–70% of patients, and after 3 months in >90%. In some patients, such as those who are immunodeficient or on dialysis, anti-HCV antibodies may not be detectable in the blood despite the existing infection with hepatitis C virus.
For this reason, the choice of the most appropriate diagnosis for a given patient is made by the doctor, taking into account the clinical situation – symptoms and condition of the patient, the time that has passed since the potential infection.
In addition, the doctor may refer for other blood laboratory tests – ALT and ASP, bilirubin, GGTP. The results of these tests indirectly testify to the condition of the liver and its functioning. Hepatitis C is characterized primarily by an increase in ALT activity.
If you have complications from chronic hepatitis C, your doctor will also order other tests, depending on your needs.
An anti-HCV antibody test result that is non-reactive means that no antibodies to hepatitis C have been found in the patient’s blood. This means, in most cases, that the patient is healthy. However, there are situations where the result may be non-reactive despite infection, e.g. if the time between infection and testing is too short and the body has not yet produced antibodies, or in rare cases, e.g. in immunodeficient or dialysis patients.
Hepatitis C treatment
Treatment of acute hepatitis C. There is no causal treatment for acute hepatitis C. More severe or complicated cases may require hospitalization. The goal of treatment is to maintain adequate nutrition and hydration.
It is recommended that:
- Rest: limitation of physical activity in the acute period and for a month of early convalescence.
- Diet and fluid treatment: diet appropriate to energy needs (usually 2000 kcal/d, 70% easily digestible carbohydrates, 10-20% fats and 10% protein), gradually expanded according to individual tolerance. Return to the usual diet within six months. In case of severe vomiting and signs of dehydration, rehydration and feeding by tube (gastroenteral or enteral) or parenteral may be necessary. Prohibition of alcohol consumption for six months, and a significant restriction to a year.
- In addition, the doctor may recommend anti-pruritic treatment. Drugs metabolized in the liver or causing cholestasis (cholestasis) should be avoided – in the acute period and convalescence.
- In addition, drugs are used as in chronic hepatitis C (see below).
It should be remembered that most HCV infections are asymptomatic and patients find out about the infection only when chronic hepatitis C develops.
You have actually gotten to ‘C: My Journey’; a series of inquiries which will aid us to give you with individualised details and advice that you are looking for on your hepatitis C journey. The inquiries will take no greater than 5-10 mins to finish and also the devices given will certainly be customized to you. To assist us offer you with the very best information possible, please tell us a little about yourself.
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