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How reliable is the antibody test for hepatitis C?

ANSWER

If the antibody test doesn't find anything, then you probably don't have hepatitis C. However, if you’ve been exposed within the past 6 months, you’ll need to be checked again later to be sure.

The antibody test isn't perfect. It may show a hepatitis C infection when you don’t have one. It could be positive even if you had it in the past and your body cleared the infection.

From: Hepatitis C Diagnosis and Tests WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Younossi ZM. May 1997. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine,

De Medina M, Schiff ER. 1995. Semin Liver Dis

Friedman LS: Chronic Hepatitis, In: Tierney LM, McPhee SJ, Papadakis MA (eds): , 36th edition, Appleton & Lange, Stamford CT, 1997. Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment

National Center for Biotechnology Information: "FibroSURE and FibroScan in relation to treatment response in chronic hepatitis C virus."

CDC: "Testing for HCV Infection: An Update of Guidance for Clinicians and Laboratorians."

CDC: "Hepatitis C: Information on Testing & Diagnosis."

UpToDate: "Diagnosis and Evaluation of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection." Last updated September 10, 2014.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on December 11, 2018

SOURCES:

Younossi ZM. May 1997. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine,

De Medina M, Schiff ER. 1995. Semin Liver Dis

Friedman LS: Chronic Hepatitis, In: Tierney LM, McPhee SJ, Papadakis MA (eds): , 36th edition, Appleton & Lange, Stamford CT, 1997. Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment

National Center for Biotechnology Information: "FibroSURE and FibroScan in relation to treatment response in chronic hepatitis C virus."

CDC: "Testing for HCV Infection: An Update of Guidance for Clinicians and Laboratorians."

CDC: "Hepatitis C: Information on Testing & Diagnosis."

UpToDate: "Diagnosis and Evaluation of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection." Last updated September 10, 2014.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on December 11, 2018

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What is a PCR test for hepatitis C?

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