By Stephen C. Fabry, R. Anand Narasimhan
There are nearly 2.5 million instances of Hepatitis C within the usa and nearly 2 hundred million around the world. even if you are a newly clinically determined sufferer, a chum or relative of somebody with Hepatitis C, this ebook deals support. Written via physicians from Lahey medical institution clinical heart, Dr. Fabry and Dr. Narasimhan, this publication presents authoritative, functional solutions to the commonest questions about Hepatitis C.
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Extra resources for 100 Q&A About Hepatitis C: A Lahey Clinic Guide
23. Are there patient risk factors other than alcohol that cause hepatitis C to progress quickly? Hepatitis C has a variable natural history, but certain factors appear to influence a person’s risk of developing fibrosis and cirrhosis (Table 5). Established risk factors other than alcohol intake include male sex, older age of infection (older than 40 years), longer duration of infection, hepatitis B virus (HBV) coinfection, and HIV coinfection. Other immunocompromised conditions, including organ transplants, are also associated with increased rates of fibrosis.
While not perfect, a biopsy is considered the gold standard for assessing the amount of inflammation and scarring in the liver. Biopsies are the best way to monitor and follow the liver in patients who are not treated. The usual approach is to repeat a biopsy every 3 to 5 years. The need for treatment can be reassessed if the liver biopsy shows increasing amounts of scarring. Robert’s comments: After testing positive for HCV, my doctor and I discussed the various options regarding further testing and treatment.
As the disease progresses, normal cells are replaced by fibrous tissue. The result may ultimately be cirrhosis, where the liver has scars, nodules (pockets of fibrous tissue), and an irregular appearance. qxd 8/31/06 3:50 PM Page 48 100 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT HEPATITIS C exclude other sources of liver disease, including alcohol use, iron overload, and autoimmune hepatitis. Many staging systems have been developed for interpreting a liver biopsy. The most widely used system assigns a number between 0 and 4 for the amount of inflammation in the liver (the grade) and a number between 0 and 4 for the amount of scarring in the liver (the stage) (Figures 4, 5, and 6).