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Author Topic: Help interpreting test results, etc.  (Read 4198 times)

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Offline Mimimarig504

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
Help interpreting test results, etc.
« on: December 21, 2015, 10:01:55 am »
Hi all,

I'll try to keep this as short as possible.

Over 10 years ago, my husband at the time called to tell me he tested positive for hepatitis c. I was pregnant with my child and was also tested. The nurse told me that I was positive and I was instructed to try and live a healthy lifestyle, specifically including limited alcohol comsumption.

Fast forward to two years ago. I saw a gastroenterologist because of pain in my upper right quadrant. I figured it was gallbladder related because it seemed to really bother me after a meal higher in fat. I then began to worry it had something to do with hep c/my liver.

I shared this concern with my doctor and found that the test I had so many years ago was only an antibody test. So, he ordered a hcv quantitative pcr test. The results came back as not detected. I've had the same quantitative test two times since, and every time, the results are the same--not detected.

My liver function testshave also been fine each time I've had them in the past couple of years. I even had them done once myself out of worry and they were fine. The doctor did also order an ultrasound. It was clear (unremarkable) for my gallbladder and my liver.

I decided I wanted a second opinion, so I saw a different gastroenterologist. He also ordered an ultrasound and found tiny gallstones and a hemangioma on my liver. He said it's nothing to worry about.

I should also mention that I've developed psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The psoriasis was diagnosed by a dermatologist years ago, but the pSa was recently diagnosed by a rheumatologist. He ran a battery of tests, including hep c antibody, which was positive, they followed with yet another quantitative pcr test which was also not detected.

I've been told that I'm one of the lucky ones--that my body cleared the virus on its own. Yet I can't help but wonder if this abdominal pain and arthritic pain I've been experiencing could somehow be directly related to help c whether I'm currently infected or if I've definitely cleared it on my own.

So, my questions:

Given the test results I've described, does it sound like I've definitely cleared the virus?

Is there any possible way the virus can still affect me even if I've cleared it?

Are there any other tests I should have done?

Has anyone here cleared the virus yet suffered from psoriasis, pSa or possible gallbladder problems?

Last, is there any way possible I may at some point have a viral load even though in the past few years says I don't have one?


Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Help interpreting test results, etc.
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2015, 11:31:26 am »
Hi, Mimimarig504,

Everything I've learned about HCV (hepatitis C virus) leads me to agree with your doctors that, although you were exposed to HCV way back when, your body indeed cleared the virus as shown by the three quantitative pcr tests. HCV multiplies rapidly, so it would not have stayed undetected on all three tests if it's inside of you.

Unless you become newly infected with HCV through blood-to-blood contact with an infected person, you don't need to worry about having HCV. You ask whether you may at some point have had a viral load; yes, but your immune system got rid of the virus before you had the first quantitative pcr test. (You are indeed one of the lucky ones.) Because of that long-time-ago exposure, your  antibody tests will most likely continue to be positive. I have read a few studies that found that the antibody titer may diminish over time; one study even found a few people (cured of HCV) who eventually tested negative for the antibody. But the vast majority of people with a positive antibody test continue to test positive for the antibody even though they are free of HCV.

AFAIK, having only the antibody should not result in symptoms. Although I can't comment on the psoriasis, I do experience pain if I eat a high-fat meal. Curiously, in my body the pain manifests in my left upper arm/shoulder area! Given the location, I used to worry about a possible heart attack, but several doctors have assured me that the pain is gastrointestinal and not to worry.

So, I understand your worry, but you have had all relevant HCV tests done. May this help you have a happy holiday season.

Gnatty
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Help interpreting test results, etc.
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2015, 08:54:20 am »
There's someone else on these forums with psoriatic arthritis who happened to mention that when he posted today! See reply #8 here: http://forums.hepmag.com/index.php?topic=3708.msg36171#msg36171
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

 


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