Everyone can get infected with hepatitis C. Many people live with this disease for many years and do not even realize that they have a mechanism inside, which sooner or later will lead to sad consequences. Such persons actively infect others, and the rates of morbidity continuously increase. To reduce these indicators, everyone should take the rule of periodically taking an analysis for hepatitis C, especially if he is at risk.
Brief information about the disease
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) contains an RNA molecule,carrying genetic information and special proteins interacting with the human body. It is transmitted mainly through the sexual way and through the blood. In some cases, a vertical transmission path (that is, from mother to child) is possible.
Penetrating into the body, it settles in various blood cells (neutrophils, monocytes, lymphocytes) and liver (hepatocytes).
The insidiousness of the infection lies in the absence of symptoms of the acute phase. It immediately passes into a chronic asymptomatic and slowly realizes its destructive effect.
From the beginning of penetration into the body of RNA virushepatitis C before the appearance of the first symptoms can go on for many years, sometimes 15-20 years or more. The emergence of complaints is characteristic of a neglected form of hepatitis C, when the liver is already significantly affected. Most of these patients are diagnosed with the following hepatic pathologies:
- benign cysts;
Prior to the development of complications, the patient may note a slight malaise, which is usually not appreciated.
Who is being analyzed
An analysis for hepatitis C virus RNA is shown to people who are more prone to infection. This group includes:
- drug addicts;
- people who have a promiscuous sex life;
- all who practice unprotected sexual intercourse, especially with a new partner;
- fans of tattoos, piercings, beauty salons (hairdressers);
- persons who underwent surgical interventions (including childbirth, dental pathology);
- mothers of children born before 1990 (the fact is that at that time the disease was not yet detected, so when transfused, such women were infected with the infection);
- children of sick mothers;
- relatives and sexual partners of the infected;
- patients with chronic liver diseases of an unknown nature.
The list is quite extensive, so few can say with certainty that its risk of infection is zero.
Many people would like to undergo an analysis of the definition of RNA of hepatitis C virus, but do not consult a doctor because of embarrassment, lack of time, dislike for hospitals, etc.
Solving the problem will help simple diagnosis using a special rapid test (ELISA). In this case, a qualitative method is used, which determines only the fact of the presence of antibodies to the virus.
Acts on the principle of the test to determine pregnancy, but as the test material will require blood:
- In a set with a plastic strip (a monitor for evaluating the result) there is a special lancet, piercing a finger with a single click on the button.
- With the help of the pipette, the blood is placed in a special compartment, and after 10-15 minutes the response can be assessed.
- Two bars indicate a positive result,one - about the negative. The appearance of a second pale spot in the test area indicates the presence of the disease, but the concentration of antibodies in the blood is too small.
If the disease has been identified, you need to go to the doctor for further examination.
Basic principles of detection of RNA of hepatitis C virus
With such results it is necessary to consult an infectious disease specialist and a hepatologist who will prescribe additional studies.
The main thing in carrying out the subsequent analyzes -to reveal to which genotype the detected hepatitis is related, and to determine its quantity in the blood. From the data obtained, further treatment will depend, since all the varieties differ from each other and may react differently to the drugs. In addition, microorganisms can skilfully disguise themselves.
Types of research
When diagnosing HCV, one of the following methods is used:
- PCR. In this case we are talking about the genetic material of the pathogen.
- Quantitative analysis for hepatitis C virus RNA(r-DNK, TMA). Such an analysis is carried out after confirmation of the presence of an agent in the body. It is also called a viral load. It allows you to identify the number of pathogens in 1 ml of blood. From these indicators depends the duration of treatment and the degree of infectiousness of the patient. R-DNK performs testing in the range above 500 ME, and TMA at 5-10 ME. Both methods are considered simple and cheap.
- Genotyping. It is carried out in the last turn and allows you to specify which species the identified disease belongs to.
Evaluation of results
If the analysis of RNA of hepatitis C virus gavepositive result by PCR and ELISA, the diagnosis is confirmed. However, a negative result does not yet guarantee a lack of infection. Unfortunately, this happens often, because reagents with different sensitivities can be used in the process.
Many are interested in what it means "RNA virushepatitis C is not detected. "Such an indicator can actually indicate the absence of the disease or at its small concentration.For example, PCR 200 ME / ML will give a false result if the patient has a small number of viral copies.This can happen with a recent infection or with treatment .
Often, the patient does not need to own such information, as these aspects should be taken into account by the attending physician.
Detection of hepatitis C virus RNA witha quantitative study of 400 000 ME and more says that the virus is not only present in the blood, but also actively multiplies, while infecting others. If the indicator is close to 800,000, this indicates an acute phase and active damage to the liver cells.
Although the opinions of experts differ here. Some of them argue that there is no relationship with the rate of disease progression and the number of copies of the virus.
Such patients should be especially cautious in communicating with their loved ones.
Once the hepatitis C virus RNA is determined, the patient may be assigned other studies, including:
- detection of hepatitis B;
- general analysis of blood and urine;
- Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity;
- MRI or CT of the liver (according to indications).
After receiving all the necessary information, the doctor carefully examines the results, the state of health of the patient, and then selects for him an individual treatment regimen.
With timely detection, liver damage, as a rule, is absent.
Therapeutic methods and terms
The duration of treatment depends on the genotype. To date, 11 varieties are known of them, 6 of which are found most often. In Russia, the most common are 1, 2, 3-rd type.
A few years ago, hepatitis C was a member of the groupincurable diseases. Therapy, carried out mainly by interferons, could significantly improve the patient's condition, but not cure it completely.
The breakthrough in the treatment of the disease was the drug "Sofosbuvir", which appeared in pharmacies under a different trade name "Sowaldi". To date, there are several analogues of an effective tool:
Often they are well tolerated by the sick, but in a number of cases, there are:
- deterioration of appetite;
- a feeling of dryness in the mouth;
- chest pain;
- hair loss.
The only drawback of such treatment is extremelyhigh cost (an average of 10 000-12000 rubles per package), which, depending on the medicament chosen, can vary in greater or lesser extent.
After the end of the treatment, lasting from 12 to 24 weeks, the patient will be assigned a repeat analysis for the presence of viral RNA in the blood.
In this case, it will be necessary to apply the method withthe minimum threshold of sensitivity, since after exposure to drugs, the concentration of HCV may be negligible. In this case, the treatment will need to continue.
Negative result is considered absencehepatitis C virus, when the RNA of the pathogen was not detected. Such a study will need to be carried out several more times (at short intervals) to make sure that the treatment was successful.
To all who have undergone a long and expensive treatment for hepatitis C, it is worth remembering that to him the body does not produce immunity, so repeated infection is possible.
This disease is easier to prevent than cure. Fully protect yourself from possible danger will not work, but in order to then not ask what it means "RNA of the hepatitis C virus is detected," the following precautions should be observed:
- Do not use other people's personal hygiene items (razors, scissors, dental floss);
- avoid unprotected sex;
- To visit dentistry, salons (beauty, tattoo, etc.) only with a good reputation;
- cover all skin damage with band-aid or bandage;
- if possible, avoid contact with an infected person.
The earlier the disease was identified, the more effective the treatment will be. Usually, in the absence of damage to internal organs, hepatitis C is cured completely and without consequences.
If hepatitis C is not treated, he will sooner or later lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. This can happen even 30-40 years after infection with the virus.
Cirrhosis, which appeared under the influence of hepatitis C,is a chronic incurable disease. In the early stages it is possible to slow down its course, in a neglected case, a person can be saved only by liver transplantation.
After learning about the positive result for hepatitis C, do notyou must immediately panic. First, you need to check the condition of your liver and begin to fight infection and related pathologies. Treatment is long and expensive, but gives the patient a chance for a long and healthy life.