icon Hepatitis C Virus RNA Quantitative

Why the Test is Needed?
Diagnose of acute or chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and to monitor treatment of the infection.

Also Known As: Hepatitis C Virus, HCV-RNA, HCV-RNA Quantitative, Hepatitis C Viral Load, C Virus Quantification.

Hepatitis-C virus is a single stranded RNA virus and is known to cause viral hepatitis. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both acute and chronic infection. Acute HCV infection is usually asymptomatic and is only very rarely associated with life-threatening disease. About 1545% of infected persons spontaneously clear the virus within 6 months of infection without any treatment. The remaining 6080% of persons will develop chronic HCV infection. Of those with chronic HCV infection, the risk of cirrhosis of the liver is between 1530% within 20 years. A global estimation shows that 180 million people are infected with this virus and 1 to 5% dies suffering from cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Hepatitis C tests are a group of tests that are performed to detect, diagnose, and monitor the treatment of a hepatitis C viral infection. The most common test for HCV looks for antibodies in the blood that are produced in response to an HCV infection.
Confirmatory first test is the hepatitis C RNA qualitative test, also known as the PCR test. A positive result means that a person has the hepatitis C virus. A negative result means that the body has cleared the virus without treatment. The second test is the hepatitis C RNA quantitative test. The result of this test is given as a number rather than a positive or negative. Consequently the test helps to monitor the prognosis of the disease and the therapeutic success during and after the therapy.
The quantitative Real Time PCR method allows a dynamic range of detection in the order of 50 to 2X109 copies/ml of the virus, the results of which is useful to assess the baseline viral load prior initiation of therapy.

Reasons for Referral:
When patient have risk factors for HCV infection or when patient may have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus, such as through contact with infected blood, or have symptoms associated with liver disease or when patient are being treated for HBV or hepatitis C (HCV).

Sample Requirement:
Plasma (Draw 3ml of blood K3EDTA tube. Mixed gently with anticoagulant. Tube should be kept for 20-30 minutes at room temperature. Centrifuge the tube 4,000 rpm for 5 minutes. Separate the plasma with sterilized tips in a Micro-centrifuge tube)

Test Preparation
No test preparation is needed.

Test Done by
RTPCR (Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction)

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