Viral Hepatitis

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Hepatitis C Quicknotes: Posttest Strategy

for Health Care Providers

Posttest Strategy

Result of Anti-HCV by ELISA

  • Negative
    • Patient is unlikely to be infected with HCV unless immunocompromised
    • If suspicion is high (patient has risk factors and is immunocompromised or patient has risk factors and acute hepatitis), obtain HCV RNA by PCR
  • Indeterminate
    • Uncertain whether patient is infected with HCV (could be in the process of forming antibodies, or other factors unrelated to HCV are present)
    • Obtain HCV RNA by PCR
  • Positive
    • Patient may be infected with HCV; test does not indicate whether infection is acute, chronic, resolved; result may be false positive
    • Get HCV RNA by PCR; positive result confirms that patient has active HCV.

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