DOCTOR'S VIEWS ARCHIVE
Dr. Edward Block:
Abnormal elevations in SGOT (ALT) and SGPT (AST) only indicate hepatitis (liver inflammation). Other blood tests are necessary to determine that the hepatitis is due to hepatitis C infection.
Hepatitis C antibody blood test is commonly the first test ordered by the doctor. A positive hepatitis C antibody test indicates exposure to HCV though it dose not always indicate active infection.
Hepatitis C RNA (HCV RNA) blood test actually measures the virus. A positive HCV RNA test indicates active infection.
Some of our hepatitis C patients come to us via blood banks. During the process of screening blood donors some tested positive for hepatitis C.
People applying for life insurance and disability policies will often also be tested for hepatitis C, and we find a fair number of newly diagnosed patients being referred in this manner as well.
Please refer to the Hepatitis C article for more details.
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