Assessment of hepatitis c virus rna levels by quantitative competitive rna polymerase chain reaction: High-titer viremia correlates with advanced stage of disease

D. Gretch, L. Corey, J. Wilson, C. Dela Rosa, R. Willson, R. Carithers, M. Busch, J. Hart, M. Sayers, J. Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations

Abstract

A quantitative competitive RNA polymerase chain reaction (QC-PCR) assay was developed for measuring absolute levels of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA in the sera of 121 viremic persons, including 64 asymptomatic blood donors, 39 symptomatic patients referred for treatment of chronic hepatitis C, and 18 patients with end-stage liver disease referred for liver transplantation. Mean HCV RNA levels (log molecules per milliliter) were lowest among blood donors with normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) values (5.8 ± 1.5), higher among blood donors with elevated ALT (6.9 ± 0.8) and clinic patients with chronic active hepatitis (6.9 ± 0.7), and highest among patients with cirrhosis (7.1 ± 0.8) or end-stage liver disease (7.6 ± 1.0). High-titer viremia (>7.5 logs/mL) was more frequent among patients with end-stage liver disease (14/18; 78%) than either blood donors (10/64; P <.001) or patients with chronic active hepatitis (7/26; P <.001). Thus, 121 (94.5%) of 128 anti-HCV-positive persons were viremic. QC-PCR may be valuable for monitoring HCV infection status and selecting individuals for therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1219-1225
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume169
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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