Hepatitis C Antibody / anti-HCV
The Hepatitis C virus causes liver infection, which is associated with inflammation and liver damage. The immune system of a person infected with hepatitis C virus produces antibodies against the virus, which are detected by the Hepatitis C antibody test.
Why is the test ordered?
Hepatitis C virus is an antibody test, ordered to screen previous exposure and current infection. The test helps in detecting antibodies to hepatitis C virus, but cannot differentiate active or past infection. The test may also be ordered as a part of an acute viral hepatitis panel to determine the cause of an individual’s symptoms and to determine the virus causing them.
When is the test ordered?
The test may be recommended to screen individuals who fall in the following categories:
- Persons exposed to contaminated blood
- Drug abusers
- Patients with chronic liver disease
- HIV positive patients
- Children born to HCV positive mothers
- Patients on long-term dialysis
- Persons with abnormal liver panel test results.
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm.
How to prepare for the test?
No special preparations are required for this test.