Systemic viral infection involving the liver
Patients >60 years may be less responsive to therapy, as they are more likely to have advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis at time of diagnosis (1).
- Routine prenatal HCV testing
- For HCV-infected mothers, retest HCV RNA postpartum to evaluate for spontaneous clearance.
- Test children born to HCV-positive mothers (at 18 months of age).
- HCV-positive children have no restrictions for participation in regular childhood activities.
- Treatment starts ≥3 years of age (1),(2)
- Incidence of acute Hepatitis C has more than doubled since 2013.
- IV drug use accounts for ~60–70% of new cases.
- HCV is the most common cause of chronic liver disease and transplantation in the United States.
- There are eight known genotypes (GT). GT 1 is the predominant form (75%) in U.S. GT predicts response to treatment (1).
Etiology and Pathophysiology
Single-stranded RNA virus of Flaviviridae family
- No known predisposing genetic factors
- Transmission occurs primarily via parenteral exposure to infected blood.
- Chronic hemodialysis
- Blood/blood product transfusion or organ transplantation before July 1992
- Household or health care–related exposure
- Children born to HCV-positive mothers
- Do not share hygiene products.
- Use clean needles and dispose of needles properly. Do not share needles; cover cuts and sores.
- Practice safe sex (condoms).
Commonly Associated Conditions
- Hepatitis B coinfection, HIV coinfection
- Mixed cryoglobulinemia
- HCV-related renal disease—most commonly membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis
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