Potential Sites For Screening For Hepatitis C
Screening for hepatitis C can be offered in several venues the most likely are primary care offices, emergency rooms, urgent care clinics, and public health fairs.
Following the CDC recommendation, 3 studies were presented at the 2013 meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in Washington, DC. One study was conducted in an emergency department, the second in the outpatient clinics of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and the third involved individuals undergoing screening colonoscopies for colorectal cancer at a community hospital.- All 3 studies confirmed the higher prevalence of positive serum anti-HCV in individuals born in the years 1945-1965.
Who Should Get Tested For Hepatitis C
The CDC recommends that you get tested at least once no matter what. Definitely get screened if any of these things apply to you:
- You were born between 1945 and 1965.
- You use or inject drugs.
- You have ever injected drugs — even if it was just once or a long time ago.
- Youâre on kidney dialysis.
- You have abnormal alanine aminotransferase levels .
- You had a blood transfusion, blood components, or an organ transplant before July 1992.
- Youâve ever gotten clotting factor concentrates made before 1987.
- You received blood from a donor who later tested positive for hepatitis C virus.
- Youâre a health care worker, first responder, or have another job that exposes you to HCV-infected needles.
- You were born to a mother with HCV.
All Adults Pregnant Women And People With Risk Factors Should Get Tested For Hepatitis C
Most people who get infected with hepatitis C virus develop a chronic, or lifelong, infection. Left untreated, chronic hepatitis C can cause serious health problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death. People can live without symptoms or feeling sick, so testing is the only way to know if you have hepatitis C. Getting tested is important to find out if you are infected so you can get lifesaving treatment that can cure hepatitis C.
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Preparation Prior To Transport
Label the specimen container with the patients full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patients date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.
Centrifuge if using SST. Place specimen in biohazard bag and seal. Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection.
Specimens more than the following number of days post collection will not be tested:
- > 6 days for Hepatitis B surface antigen
- > 7 days for Hepatitis B e Antigen and Hepatitis B e Antibody
- > 10 days for Hepatitis B core Antigen and Hepatitis B surface Antibody
Why The Test Is Performed
Your provider may order this test if you have signs of hepatitis. It is used to:
- Detect current or previous hepatitis infection
- Determine how contagious a person with hepatitis is
- Monitor a person who is being treated for hepatitis
The test may be performed for other conditions, such as:
- Chronic persistent hepatitis
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How Much Does The Test Cost
The cost of hepatitis C testing depends on the tests that are performed, where the test is conducted, and a patients health insurance coverage. When testing is ordered by a doctor, patients with health insurance may find it helpful to discuss the cost of hepatitis C testing with their insurance company. In addition to the cost of testing, there may be other out-of-pocket costs such as copays and deductibles.
For patients without health insurance, or for whom insurance doesnt cover the cost of testing, it may be helpful to discuss the cost of hepatitis C testing with a doctor or hospital administrator.
At-home hepatitis C testing starts around $49. Some at-home kits test for multiple types of viral hepatitis at once, with the cost of these panels starting around $80.
Specific Hcv Rna Assays And Range Of Detectable Virus
HCV RNA tests use target amplification techniques. Several assays exist for HCV RNA testing. Methods include polymerase chain reaction , transcription mediated amplification , and branched chain DNA tests. Results are expressed as international units/mL . The different methods and different commercial assays each have a lower limit of quantification and lower limit of detection , therefore a patient’s results could be reported differently depending on the assay used. HCV RNA tests must have an LLOQ of 25 IU/mL or lower when used to assess treatment response with DAAs.
LLOQ = the lowest HCV RNA level that is within the linear and analytically acceptable range of the assay.
LLOD = the lowest level of HCV RNA that is detected 95% of the time.
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How Long Do Hepatitis B Test Results Take
Fettle is committed to delivering your results within 72 hours of receiving your samples.
If your result is reactive, a Fettle clinician will call you to discuss your diagnosis, treatment options and help you find your nearest clinic.
If your result is negative, well let you know by text message as soon as your results are available.
We deliver resultswithin72 hours
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Where Can I Find A Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Test Near Me
Check our lab finder to locate a collection site in your area.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
For the majority of people, this test will have the highest level of accuracy at 12 weeks from an exposure or any time after. Some people may be detectable as early as 4 weeks from exposure.
It is recommended that someone taking Biotin stop consumption at least 72 hours prior to the collection of a sample.
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Study Provides Basis For Personalized Hepatitis C Aftercare
by Medical University of Vienna
Even after chronic hepatitis C has been cured, portal hypertension remains the major factor driving the development of complications in advanced liver disease. In cooperation with researchers from Spain, a research team led by Georg Semmler and Mattias Mandorfer from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at MedUni Vienna’s Department of Medicine III showed that the non-invasive tests explored in their earlier studies accurately estimate the probability of sequelae.
Their study, published in the Journal of Hepatology, refutes concerns about the accuracy of these tests and recommends actions for individual disease follow-up.
In their latest study, the research group analyzed all published data relating to non-invasive tests and minimally invasive hepatic venous pressure gradient measurements performed on patients before and after treatment for hepatitis C. Working closely with colleagues from Spain, they evaluated paired measurements from 418 patients, confirming the accuracy of two non-invasive tests: U.S.-based liver stiffness measurement and platelet count, a simple blood test.
Based on these findings, it was possible to develop a risk stratification system for patients post hepatitis C cure and this has already been implemented in the Baveno VII consensus, i.e., the international recommendations for the management of portal hypertension.
More information:Journal of Hepatology
Will My Results Be Shared With My State Health Department
As is the case with all STI testingâwhether through Everlywell or your healthcare providerâwe may be required by law to report positive test results to certain state health departments. This is completely confidential and is only done to track infection prevalence. In rare cases, you may not receive a definitive result because of short post-exposure time or inadequate sampling, and repeat testing is suggested. Know where you stand with our at-home hepatitis C test.
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Hepatitis A Test Results
A total antibody test detects both IgM and IgG antibodies but does not distinguish between them. If the total antibody test or hepatitis A IgG result is positive and someone has never been vaccinated against HAV, then the person has had past exposure to the virus.
Hepatitis A infection is typically diagnosed through blood tests. Fortunately, blood tests are widely available to accurately diagnose hepatitis A, including tests for antibodies, or the affected persons immune response to hepatitis A proteins. The IgG antibodies are present for life, indicating immunity.
Treatment generally involves supportive care, with specific complications treated as appropriate. Liver transplantation, in selected cases, is an option if the patient has fulminant hepatic failure . Patients at risk of developing acute hepatitis A virus infection should undergo immunization for the virus.
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Who Gets Hepatitis C
Persons at highest risk for HCV infection include:
- persons who ever injected illegal drugs, including those who injected once or a few times many years ago,
- people who had blood transfusions, blood products or organ donations before June 1992, when sensitive tests for HCV were introduced for blood screening, and
- persons who received clotting factors made before 1987.
Other persons at risk for hepatitis C include:
- long-term kidney dialysis patients,
- health care workers after exposures to the blood of an infected person while on the job,
- infants born to HCV-infected mothers,
- people with high-risk sexual behavior, multiple partners and sexually transmitted diseases,
- people who snort cocaine using shared equipment, and
- people who have shared toothbrushes, razors and other personal items with a family member who is HCV-infected.
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Do I Need To Be Tested For Hepatitis C
People with hepatitis C may not show symptoms until liver problems show up, underscoring the importance of getting tested. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all adults aged 18 years and older to get tested at least once in their lifetime. For those who have HIV, injected drugs or shared needles and syringes, or received a transfusion or organ transplant, testing is recommended regardless of age.
What Do I Ask The Doctor
When you visit the doctor, it helps to have questions written down ahead of time. You can also ask a family member or friend to go with you to take notes.
Print this list of questions and take it to your next appointment.
- Do I need to get tested for hepatitis C?
- What puts me at risk for hepatitis C?
- How will you test me for hepatitis C?
- How long will it take to get my test results?
- How will I find out my test results?
- If I have hepatitis C, what will happen next?
- Can you give me some information about hepatitis C to take home with me?
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Getting Treatment For Hepatitis B
If youre in the early stages of the hepatitis B infection, you should be assessed by a doctor. You might need medication to help with the symptoms.
People with chronic hepatitis B , will need to see a specialist in liver disease. They may need medication to prevent liver damage and have regular tests. There are now very effective medications that can suppress the virus over many years.
Enzyme Immunoassays For Detection Of Hepatitis C Antibody
The HCV Ab test is used for initial screening for hepatitis C. The test is performed by enzyme immunoassays , which detect the presence of hepatitis C antibodies in serum. The result of the test is reported as positive or negative. Third-generation EIAs have a sensitivity/specificity of approximately 99%. However, the presence of HCV Ab does not indicate whether the infection is acute, chronic, or resolved. A positive antibody test result should be followed up with an HCV RNA test to confirm that viremia is present.
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Is There Anything Else I Should Know
The tests that are typically included in an acute viral hepatitis panel may not always be able to tell whether someone has had a previous hepatitis infection or has developed antibodies in response to a vaccine. Usually other types of tests are performed to provide this type of information. See the individual articles on Hepatitis A Testing, Hepatitis B Testing or Hepatitis C Testing for more on this.
The presence of hepatitis A IgM antibodies in the blood are considered diagnostic for acute infection with hepatitis A when the test information is combined with a persons signs and symptoms. When the hepatitis screening test is performed for people who do not have symptoms of acute hepatitis, the presence of hepatitis A IgM antibodies may represent a false-positive result. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended against using the test for screening in people without acute hepatitis symptoms to decrease the possibility of false-positive results.
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Questions You Should Be Able To Answer About Your Liver Health
Keep in mind, though, that elevated liver enzymes dont always indicate liver problems due to hepatitis C. Liver enzymes can go up and down because of various factors. For this reason, someone diagnosed with chronic hepatitis can have a liver enzyme level thats normal or near normal, whereas a person who doesnt have hepatitis C can have elevated enzymes for other reasons.
Certain medications can cause elevated enzymes, such as acetaminophen and drugs used to control cholesterol. A larger waist circumference can also cause elevated liver enzymes if theres excess fat stored in your liver cells.
Your doctor may even recommend an ultrasound or another imaging test to check your liver for cirrhosis. A biopsy, which removes a sample of tissue from your liver, can confirm cirrhosis. Your doctor can also schedule a biopsy and imaging test to check for liver cancer.
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What Does The Test Result Mean
Screening and diagnosis
An HCV antibody test is typically reported as “positive” or “negative.”
Results of HCV viral load testing are reported as a number of virus copies present. If no virus is present or if the amount of virus is too low to detect, the result is often reported as “negative” or “not detected.”
Interpretation of the HCV screening and follow-up tests is shown in the table below.
- In general, if your HCV antibody test is positive, then you have likely been infected at some time with hepatitis C.
- If the laboratory reports results as weakly positive, most of these results are false positive and some laboratories will retest your sample with another test before reporting it as positive.
- If your HCV RNA test is positive, then you have a current infection.
- If no HCV viral RNA is detected, then you either do not have an active infection or the virus is present in very low numbers.
|Current, active infection|
Guiding and monitoring treatment
The result of your HCV genotype test identifies which strain of HCV you have and helps guide the selection and the length of your treatment. Treatments may differ depending on a variety of factors, including HCV genotype and the health of your liver.
An HCV viral load can indicate whether or not treatment is effective.
- A high or increasing viral load may mean that treatment is not working.
- A low, decreasing, or undetectable viral load likely means that the treatment is working.
Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Blood Test
This test is used to screen for infection with the Hepatitis B virus. The Surface Antigen test looks for a protein which is present on the surface of the virus. This protein will be present in the blood with an acute or chronic Hep B infection. Because it has a fairly early detection window, the Surface Antigen Test is often ordered by people who believe they have had a recent exposure. This test can detect the presence of Hepatitis B in chronic or long-term infections even if the person has no symptoms.
Hepatitis B is a viral liver infection which is spread through exposure to infected blood or bodily fluids. It is the most common cause of acute viral Hepatitis. Hepatitis B infections often show no symptoms but when symptoms do occur they are often described as flu-like. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, joint pain, fatigue, jaundice, and dark colored urine. Chronic Hep B infections can cause serious health complications like Cirrhosis and Liver Cancer.
Turnaround time for the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen test is typically 1 business day.
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Time For Processing Hcv Ab Test Results
The turnaround time for 3rd-generation EIAs is at least 1 day. Many labs do not perform the tests on site and must send specimens to another lab for processing, which may further increase the turnaround time.
A point-of-care test is also available. The OraQuick® HCV Rapid Antibody Test is an FDA-approved test that can be performed with a fingerstick . It is also a CLIA-waived test and therefore can be used in clinic offices and outreach facilities. Results are reported as reactive or nonreactive within 20 minutes. Just as for the standard HCV Ab test done in the lab, a positive OraQuick® test must be confirmed by an HCV RNA test. The sensitivity and specificity of the test is similar to that of the laboratory-based assays.
What Blood Tests Are Important To Diagnose And Evaluate My Hepatitis B Infection
In order to understand your hepatitis B status, it is important that your doctor order the hepatitis B blood panel. This panel includes 3 basic biomarkers, but only one sample of blood is needed. Make sure you request a written copy of your blood test results so that you fully understand what tests were ordered and the actual results of each. Also, be sure to have your doctor clearly explain the results to you so that you fully understand your situation.
It is important to wait 6-8 weeks after a possible exposure before getting tested. If done before this time , the blood tests can have a false negative result. The window period is the time between exposure and the appearance of these markers in blood. The 3-part blood test includes the following:
1) Hepatitis B surface Antigen This directly tests for the presence of the hepatitis B virus. It should be negative if there is NO virus present. 2) Hepatitis B surface Antibody This tests for the production of protective antibodies against the hepatitis B virus. This blood test should be positive if the protective antibodies are produced in response to vaccination or recovery from a natural infection. 3) Hepatitis B core Antibody This antibody does not provide any protection. A positive result may indicate that a person has been exposed to the hepatitis B virus. This test must be interpreted in relation to the above 2 test results.
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