All About Why Hepatitis tests may give false results?

Most of the times,the test results for Hepatitis C is definitive but in some rare cases, false positive results occur even when the person is not affected by the virus.
The contrary may also be true in which case, the test may be false negative even when the person is affected.
One needs to have a clear understanding of the subject should such a case occurs.

There are two main types of tests oh Hepatitis C.

Initial test is called ELISA, which is an enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay.

It looks for hep C antibodies.

The other one is a hep C RNA test, which detects the actual presence of virus in the bloodstream.

If one tests positive in ELISA, RNA test is conducted only to confirm the presence of infection as it is a very expensive test.


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On an average, one in four people who are affected by HCV, clear the virus on their own.
When tests are done after this recuperating process, the ELISA will be positive while RNA will show negative results. This contradiction occurs as the antibodies may still be present in the bloodstream even after the infection is gone.

False Positive:

Those who test false positive in ELISA as it may pick up wrong antibodies, are likely to continue with the condition for the rest of their lives. In the event of future exposure to Hepatitis C, RNA test would confirm the result.

False Negative:
Those with suppressed immune system are likely to test false negative in ELISA.
In all probability, RNA test will not be recommended in such cases.
It is advisable to go for re-tests if such people are exposed to contracting Hepatitis C in future.

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is a test that may indicate a new,acute infection with
hep C. This is also not a foolproof method as the results may due to different factors and people affected with the virus may have a standard reading.

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Call 928-328-8909 to get helpful information, a Hep C guide, and facts about managing Hep C.

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