Hepatitis C - Diagnosis
If third generation ELISA blood test is positive, the next step should be to perform HCV-RNA by
quantitative assessment using RT-PCR technology. Qualitative testing alone is not recommended as a
positive qualitative test would require further quantification of viral load. If the PCR test is positive,
genotype testing is advisable though not mandatory. Knowing the genotype helps in deciding on the
appropriate regimen of drugs to be used and the duration of therapy. Similarly a liver biopsy is
desirable as it documents the degree of inflammation and grade of fibrosis which is useful for
prognostication. Liver biopsy is not mandatory before starting treatment for hepatitis-C.