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Author Topic: Research on false positive antibody tests & autoimmune diseases?  (Read 9217 times)

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Offline OpenSource

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  • Posts: 8
Research on false positive antibody tests & autoimmune diseases?
« on: December 29, 2015, 10:29:35 pm »
Hey peeps. I have multiple sclerosis. I recently tested positive for HCV antibodies, but my viral load came back undetectable. I realize that my body could have cleared the virus on its own, but I wonder if there is any possibility of my body producing antibodies that could have caused a false anti-HCV reading. I have read that people with higher antinuclear antibodies (ANAs), like some people with MS (http://www.neurology.org/content/49/3/857), may receive a false positive on their HCV antibody test (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/172356-differential). I also found that for people with autoimmune Lupus who have hypergammaglobulinemia, false positive antibody tests can also be an issue: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9412945

Anyway, if you're into research at the intersection of HCV and autoimmune diseases, or autoimmune diseases and false positives, please share your interest or resources you find.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 10:31:59 pm by OpenSource »

Offline gnatcatcher

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Re: Research on false positive antibody tests & autoimmune diseases?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 06:43:54 am »
OpenSource, that's some great research you did. The Autoimmune Hepatitis Differential Diagnoses article is especially fascinating (not that I fully understand it) -- I plan to carry a copy of it to my next visits with the hepatologist and internist.

Here's what I can contribute to the discussion. I've had 2 autoimmune Dx's: ITP and Lupus Nephritis. In my case, the HCV seems to be the real deal with the VL topping 9 million on a couple of tests and the ALT and AST rising over time until Harvoni sent the HCV packing. Tests of my ANA titer have been all over the map: always positive, but bouncing around between 1:160 and 1:2560. I've just looked through lab results for times when the ANA titer was done on the same day as the HCV RNA QN, PCR to see if they rose and fell in tandem, but there's no correlation.

Autoimmune diseases certainly do wacky things to antibody results, such as so many people with lupus getting false positives on the original test for syphilis that it took a better test to figure out whether they really had syphilis. And I have twice taken the series of vaccinations against HBC only to have the antibody test revert back to negative. My hepatologist doesn't think it's worth my trying to get vaccinated a third time, because I'm likely to revert yet again.

Then there's the whole matter of extrahepatic manifestations of HCV. When my HCV was diagnosed six years after the SLE nephritis Dx, my nephrologist said that something that had been puzzling him about my non-classic case of SLE finally made sense. Now that I'm rid of the HCV, I'm eager to see whether various autoimmune-related symptoms subside.

Sorry you have MS. Does it seem to be a classic case (if there is such a thing), or is there any chance that you actually had HCV that your immune system managed to clear, but that as a result your immune system is producing MS-like symptoms? I'm speculating here, but this whole area of extrahepatic manifestations seems to be in its infancy as far as doctors figuring out what's causing what, so I thought I'd ask.

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:
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85


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