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Author Topic: False positive HCV RNA  (Read 3483 times)

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Offline marraant

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
False positive HCV RNA
« on: December 19, 2017, 04:22:32 pm »
I suffered a needle stick while at work on November 13th and all my initial blood work was negative including HCV RNA.  I had repeat blood work 4 weeks later that was all negative as well except HCV RNA was detected but non-quantifiable on the PCR assay.  It said <12 and log<1.08.  I spoke to an infectious disease specialist who thinks it is a false positive because he says that my viral load should be much higher 4 weeks after exposure, but I am still pretty nervous.  Any comments regarding possibility of false positive would be appreciated.

Offline Lynn K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 4,526
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: False positive HCV RNA
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 04:51:35 pm »
Hi and welcome

We are a community of patients from many walks of life but only a small few here that work in the medical field.

Your infectious disease specialist has much more knowledge than the majority of people here.

If it were me for now I would go with his opinion and try not to worry. But I would also want to repeat the test maybe at 12 weeks post exposure just to be on the safe side.

If you should later find you are infected the meds approved in the last few years are highly effective with the majority of patients reporting few side effects with the most often reported are mild headaches. Treatment can be as simple as one pill a day for as few as 8 weeks in some cases and you would be cured.

So try not to worry, get tested again at 12 weeks post the needle stick, worst case get treated and get cured.

I have read the odds of transmission after an accidental needle stick involving a patient with known hep c are about 1.2% so it is the more likely scenario you are not infected.

Best of luck
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 04:53:35 pm by Lynn K »
Genotype 1a
1978 contracted, 1990 Dx
1995 Intron A failed
2001 Interferon Riba null response
2003 Pegintron Riba trial med null response
2008 F4 Cirrhosis Bx
2014 12 week Sov/Oly relapse
10/14 fibroscan 27 PLT 96
2014 24 weeks Harvoni 15 weeks Riba
5/4/15 EOT not detected, ALT 21, AST 20
4 week post not detected, ALT 26, AST 28
12 week post NOT DETECTED (07/27/15)
ALT 29, AST 27 PLT 92
24 week post NOT DETECTED! (10/19/15)
44 weeks (3/11/16)  fibroscan 33, PLT 111, HCV NOT DETECTED!

Offline Gaj

  • Member
  • Posts: 172
  • Optimist
Re: False positive HCV RNA
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 11:18:07 pm »
Hi Marraant,

Are you, your employers or specialist aware if the ‘source’ of your needle stick injury was HCV negative or positive? This information may be considered confidential but if  available to appropriate medical people it would also assist to determine the likely risk and could be why your specialist believes your test result is a false positive.

Regardless of this my understanding is that the usual protocol for suspected early false positive tests such as yours is to retest in a few months to confirm that it was false.

I agree with Lynn that the risk is very low so try not to worry about it and make sure you get retested in a few months time.
Male - 61 years
Genotype 3a (since 1978?)
Diagnosed 2012
Treated 2013 PEG/Riba/Dac (Relapsed)
F4 - HCC#1 Resected 06/15 - #2 RFAblated 11/15
11/18/15 Commenced Generic Tx - Sof/Dac/Riba (24wks)
Pre Tx = ALT: 270  AST: 209  ALB: 31
05/05/16 = ALT: 34  AST: 32  ALB: 40  VL: Undetected (EOT)
06/16/16 = Relapsed
06/23/16 = ALT: 92  AST: 59  ALB: 40  VL: 290,770
01/12/17 3rd Tx - Zepatier + Sofosbuvir (16wks)
05/03/17 EOT und
06/22/17 SVR7 und
07/27/17 SVR12 UND!
10/26/17 SVR24 UND & Cured!!!


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