Which lab findings are characteristic of acute hepatitis C virus infection?

Updated: May 10, 2019
  • Author: Nicholas John Bennett, MBBCh, PhD, MA(Cantab), FAAP; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

The peak serum ALT level is less than 2000 IU/mL in most patients with acute HCV infection, and 50% have a peak serum ALT level of less than 800 IU/mL. Overall, this peak is generally less than that seen in hepatitis A or B infections.

HCV-directed antibodies are generally detectable approximately 6-8 weeks after exposure; however, as many as 5% of infected patients do not produce antibodies.


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