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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 14, Suppl B, Pages 83B-88B
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2000/707182

Diagnosis and Management of Chronic Hepatitis C

Alajos Pár

First Department of Medicine, University Medical School Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Received 14 June 1999; Accepted 23 June 1999

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This mini-review is devoted to the main questions of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of chronic hepatitis C (CHC). Diagnosis of CHC is based on virological, biochemical and histological findings. The etiology of CHC should be proven by the presence of antibody to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) and detection of viral nucleic acid (HCV RNA), using qualitative and quantitative polymerase chain reaction or branched chainDNAtechniques. Serum aminotransferase levels can reflect the biochemical activity of liver disease, while biopsy is very important in the grading and staging of the pathological process. The generally accepted treatment ofCHCis interferon (IFN); however, recently, the combination of IFN with the oral nucleoside analogue ribavirin has become the therapy of choice, not only for relapsers but also for naive patients. Prevention of hepatitis C by vaccination is not yet available. Screening blood donors and members of high risk groups, as well as ensuring good public health measures, are imperative to inhibit the spread of HCV.