Hepatitis C Virus Total Antibody
What is HCV Ab?
You should get this test done when you have risk factors for HCV infection like you are on long term dialysis, have received a blood transfusion, have injected illegal drugs, you have evidence of chronic liver disease. It is also done when you may have been exposed to hepatitis C virus, such as through contact with infected blood.
Why is HCV Ab done?
- If you have signs or symptoms suggesting hepatitis like jaundice, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, decreased appetite
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends HCV antibody testing if you have ever injected illegal drugs, you have been exposed to someone with Hepatitis C infection, you have evidence of chronic liver disease, you have HIV, or you are on long term dialysis
Interpreting HCV Ab results
- A negative HCV antibody test usually indicates no infection with Hepatitis C virus
- A positive or indeterminate HCV antibody test along with a negative HCV RNA test usually indicates past infection or no infection. Additional tests are needed
- A positive or indeterminate HCV antibody test along with positive HCV RNA test indicates current infection