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Welcome to the comprehensive medical library of Dayton Colon Rectal Center, Inc. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

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Diagnosing Hepatitis CDiagn³stico de la hepatitis C

Diagnosing Hepatitis C

To determine whether you are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), your healthcare provider will ask questions about your health. He or she may also try to figure out how long you have been infected with HCV. This may involve questions that seem personal. It's important to answer honestly. You should also mention any symptoms that concern you. To test for HCV, a small sample of your blood is taken. A physical exam and certain tests help check for liver damage.

To test for HCV, blood is taken and sent to a lab. It may take a few weeks to get your test results.

Getting Tested

Blood tests look for substances in your blood that are linked to hepatitis C. These include:

  • Anti-HCV (an antibody). The body tries to fight HCV by making a substance called anti-HCV. This substance is found in the blood.

  • ALT (a liver enzyme). Blood may contain more ALT if the liver has been damaged.

  • HCV RNA (a part of the virus). Some tests can show pieces of HCV in infected blood.

  • Genotype (strain of the virus). There are six HCV genotypes. A blood test can reveal which genotype you have.

Looking for Liver Damage

During an exam, your healthcare provider may feel your abdomen to see if your liver is swollen or painful. Tests may also be done to check your liver for damage. These tests include:

  • Ultrasound, which uses painless sound waves to create a picture of the liver.

  • CT scan, which is a type of x-ray that shows a detailed picture of the liver.

  • Liver biopsy, during which a needle is used to take a small sample of tissue from the liver. The sample is then viewed under a microscope to look for inflammation and scar tissue.

Checking for Other Infections

HCV infection can be more dangerous if you are also infected with certain other viruses. Your healthcare provider may test you for HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and for other types of hepatitis (hepatitis A and B). If you have not had hepatitis A or B, you may be given vaccines (shots) to protect you from getting them in the future.

 

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I just wanted to say thank you very much for getting me in promptly and taking very good care of me during my hard times. I appreciate your office following up on my care and making sure all the testing, pre-certs were taken care of so it was less stressful for me. I also appreciate all the care and support from every staff member in your office. It really shows how much you guys care about your patients.
Thank you,
Pete Damico

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