What are the AASLD guidelines for hepatitis C (HCV) screening, and how effective are rapid diagnostic tests?

Updated: Jul 14, 2021
  • Author: Joel Schifter, MD; Chief Editor: Eric B Staros, MD  more...
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The American Association for The Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) recommends screening in high-risk groups including intravenous illicit drug abuse, intranasal drug users who share paraphernalia, individuals who have received a blood component transfusion or organ transplant before 1992, hemophiliacs who have received blood products before 1987, unexplained elevations of aminotransferase levels (AST/ALT), patients ever on hemodialysis, children born to HCV-infected mothers, those with HIV, health care and other workers after a needle stick injury or mucosal exposure to HCV-positive blood, and current sexual partners of individuals with HCV infection. [1]

A study by Radwan et al indicated that screening for HCV in persons with HIV is not carried out comprehensively in the United States. The investigators reported that HCV antibody screening was performed in 77.9% of 29,071 persons with HIV. [7]

A study by Chevaliez et al of seven rapid diagnostic tests for HCV, as evaluated using almost 500 serum or plasma specimens, found specificities ranging from 96.1-100% and, as compared with immunoassays, clinical sensitivities ranging from 97.2-100%. [8]

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