Infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) can trigger autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) in a minority of patients. This means that the liver cells are damaged not only by the virus but also by the body's own immune system.
AIH triggers the body to attack its liver cells as if the liver cells were harmful foreign substances. Patients with a combination of HCV and autoimmune hepatitis may suffer from more debilitating symptoms than patients with HCV alone. Autoimmune hepatitis is associated with other...
Although 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.
The antiviral medicines peginterferon and ribavirin are more likely to work for people who have genotype 2 or 3. These medicines also are used to treat people who have genotypes 5 and 6.
Newer treatments for genotype 1 do not use peginterferon or ribavirin. A combination of sofosbuvir and simeprevir or a single pill containing ledipasvir and sofosbuvir can be used to treat hepatitis C in people who have genotype 1.
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 3. Prolonging treatment does not seem to provide any more benefit.
The genotype of HCV does not appear to have any effect on the severity of HCV infection or to affect your risk of developing cancer of the liver.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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