Which baseline studies are performed in the workup of hepatitis C (hep C) infection?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: Vinod K Dhawan, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FIDSA; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Other baseline studies include the following:

  • Complete blood cell (CBC) count with differential
  • International normalized ratio (INR)
  • Liver function tests, including levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase, albumin, and total and indircet bilirubin
  • Calculated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)
  • Thyroid function studies
  • HCV genotyping as an aid for guiding treatment
  • Quantitative HCV RNA assay
  • Screening tests for coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus ( HIV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV)
  • Screening for alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and/or depression
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV) testing with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) (to identify coinfection), as well as hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) and antibody against hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) (for evidence of previous infection)
  • Serum pregnancy testing in women of childbearing age before initiating a treatment regimen that includes ribavirin or that includes direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) without ribavirin

The CBC demonstrates thrombocytopenia in approximately 10% of patients. Low thyroxine levels are found in approximately 10% of patients, as well. Stress testing may be necessary in appropriate patients. An ophthalmologic examination may also be necessary.


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