Hepatitis C (cont.)
Siddharth Bansal, MD
Ashwani Singal, MD, MS, FACG
In this Article
Who is at high risk and should be tested for hepatitis C infection?
Currently, screening for hepatitis C is not recommended as part of a routine physical examination. Rather, testing should be done among:
These are not the only circumstances under which testing for hepatitis C infection may be done. In general, testing is recommended when exposure to the virus is suspected.
What is the usual progression of chronic hepatitis C infection?
Our understanding of the natural progression (history) of hepatitis C infection still is evolving.
Of every 100 people infected with hepatitis C, it is estimated that:
Scientists are learning more about what causes some people to have milder problems and others to have serious complications. Drinking alcohol and acquiring other hepatitis viruses are risk factors for severe disease. Thus, persons who have chronic hepatitis C infection should avoid drinking alcohol and should be vaccinated against the other hepatitis viruses (A and B).
Live cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) is associated with cirrhosis due to chronic hepatitis C infection. Some experts recommend screening patients with hepatitis C infection and cirrhosis for liver cancer every six months with abdominal ultrasound examinations and a blood test for alpha-fetoprotein (a marker for liver cancer). The effectiveness of this screening is unclear.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/26/2015
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