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Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that causes an infection of the liver that is characterized by liver inflammation and damage. Hepatitis C tests are a group of tests that are performed to detect, diagnose, and monitor the treatment of a hepatitis C viral infection. HCV viral load testing may be ordered at the start of treatment, periodically to monitor response to treatment, and after the completion of treatment to evaluate its effectiveness. On This Site Tests: Hepatitis A Testing; Hepatitis B Testing; Acute Viral Hepatitis Panel; Liver Panel; ALT; AST; GGT; Bilirubin Conditions: Hepatitis, Liver Disease Screening: Hepatitis C - Adults 50 and Up In the News: Test for Hepatitis B Co-infection before Treating Hepatitis C with Certain Drugs, Experts Warn (2016), Screen All Adults for Hepatitis C, Say Researchers (2016) Elsewhere On The Web Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Hepatitis C Information Family Doctor.org: Hepatitis CThe C. Healthcare practitioners may also order a liver panel, which is a group of tests that help assess the health of the liver. The current risk of HCV infection from transfused blood is about one case per two million transfused units.
Since the antibody test can remain positive in most people even if they have cleared the infection, a positive antibody test is followed by a hepatitis C RNA test, which detects genetic material of the virus.
Values that are outside expected ranges can provide clues to help identify possible conditions or diseases.