Hepatitis C Genotypes - Topic Overview
Six major strains (genotypes) of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) cause infection. You may be infected with more than one genotype at a time.Genotype 1 is the most common strain in the United States.Genotypes 1, 2, and 3 are found worldwide.Genotype 4 is found throughout northern Africa.Genotype 5 commonly is found in South Africa.Genotype 6 is common in Asia.Genotype testing is done with a blood test.How genotype affects treatmentAlthough genotype tests are not used to diagnose HCV infection, they may be done before treatment begins. Knowing the genotype may help a doctor choose the best treatment plan. You should know your genotype before treatment starts.Antiviral medicines are more likely to work for people who have genotype 2 or 3. If blood tests show that you have responded to antiviral therapy (the virus is not detected in your blood) after 6 months, treatment may be:Continued for another 6 months, if you are infected with genotype 1.Stopped, if you are infected with genotype 2 or
Hepatitis C - Other Treatment
Some people seek out complementary medicines or alternative ways to treat their hepatitis C.
Hepatitis Panel - Topic Overview
A hepatitis panel is a blood test used to find antigens, antibodies, or the genetic material (DNA or RNA) of the viruses that cause hepatitis. Hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver.Your doctor may order a hepatitis panel if you have symptoms of hepatitis. Symptoms of hepatitis include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, yellowing of your eyes or skin (jaundice), dark yellow urine, and feeling ..
Medical History for Hepatitis C - Topic Overview
Your doctor may ask questions about your general health and lifestyle. You may feel uncomfortable answering some of these questions. But truthful answers are important to help your doctor determine whether you have or are at risk for hepatitis C infection.What are your symptoms, and how long have you had them?Do you now or did you ever share needles when injecting drugs?Do you come in contact with blood or used needles in your work?Do you live with anyone who is known to have hepatitis C?Did you ever or are you currently having your blood filtered by a machine (hemodialysis)?Do you have a blood-clotting disorder, such as hemophilia, and did you receive clotting factor concentrates before 1987? Since 1987, clotting factor concentrates have been treated to kill hepatitis C viruses (HCV). So this now is rarely a source of HCV infection.Have you ever received blood, blood products, or a solid organ (kidney, liver, or pancreas) from a donor? In 1992, screening of all blood, blood products,
Hepatitis C Guide - Health Tools
An interactive tool to help with decisions about hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C Guide - Surgery
If chronic hepatitis C damages your liver so severely that it no longer works well, you may need a liver transplant to extend your life.
Physical Exam for Hepatitis C - Topic Overview
Your doctor will do a physical exam to look for signs of hepatitis C infection. The exam will include:Taking your temperature to see whether you have a fever.Feeling the upper part of your belly to see whether your liver or spleen is enlarged.Feeling the glands in your neck, under your arms, and in your groin to see whether they are swollen.Your doctor also may check for the following signs of advanced liver disease:Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes (jaundice)Appearance of clusters of blood vessels just below the skin that look like tiny red spiders. These usually appear on the chest and shoulders.Redness on the palms of the hands caused by expansion of small blood vessels Fluid in the bellySwelling of the legs and feet Varicose veins spreading out from the navel
Hepatitis C Guide - What Increases Your Risk
Learn about hepatitis C risk factors.
Hepatitis C Guide - Cause
Learn more about hepatitis C and how it spreads.
Hepatitis C: Your Risk for Cirrhosis - Topic Overview
Up to 85% of people who are infected with the hepatitis C virus will develop long-term (chronic) infection.1 About 25% of people who have chronic hepatitis C will go on to develop cirrhosis—severe liver damage and scarring—after a period of about 20 years or more.2Certain factors may affect how quickly problems such as cirrhosis or liver cancer develop.The way cirrhosis develops depends on:3How much liver damage you had when you were diagnosed and how long you have had the infection. The amount of liver damage you have compared with how long you have had hepatitis C can help determine how likely it is that you will develop cirrhosis.Your age when you were infected. People who are older than 40 when they become infected may develop cirrhosis more quickly. How much alcohol you drink. People who drink too much alcohol (heavy drinking) can develop cirrhosis much more quickly than people with who do not drink or who drink very little alcohol.Your gender. Men may develop cirrhosis more