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Alanine aminotransferase (ALT; sometimes listed as SGPT): ALT is a liver enzyme. When hep C infects the liver, the hepatocytes (liver cells) produce higher-than-normal enzymes such as ALT, indicating inflammation of the liver. When initially infected, ALT may skyrocket to 10 times the normal level. When hepatitis C becomes chronic, ALT usually drops to a lower level, but remains persistently elevated. About two-thirds of people with chronic hepatitis C have continuously elevated ALT levels, reflecting ongoing damage wd gaster website to liver cells. The other third have normal ALT levels, even though they have a detectable HCV viral load. Although most people with HCV and normal ALT will live without any liver-related problems, roughly one-quarter of these people may have progression of liver disease.

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST; sometimes listed as SGOT): AST is also a liver enzyme, which is often elevated in people with chronic hepatitis C. AST levels are usually lower than ALT levels. If cirrhosis occurs, AST levels may be higher than ALT levels, a sign that damage to the liver is worsening. Elevated AST levels may also indicate excessive alcohol use, drug toxicity and the presence of other medical problems grade 9 electricity review.

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP or Alk Phos) and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT or GGTP): These liver enzymes usually remain at normal levels. However, they may become elevated if hepatitis C progresses to cirrhosis. A rise in ALP may indicate other problems, both liver- and non-liver-related. Alcohol and other factors will cause GGT to increase.

Red blood cells (RBCs): Red blood cells carry oxygen to the cells in the body, and this test counts how many RBCs you have in your blood. Hemoglobin is a protein in RBCs that carries oxygen. Low hemoglobin is a common side effect of hepatitis C treatment using ribavirin. This is because ribavirin destroys red blood cells as they are forming in the bone marrow, causing a condition known as hemolytic anemia. If you have fewer red blood cells, your hemoglobin and hematocrit will also be low. Hemolytic anemia sounds frightening, but it is a common occurrence when taking ribavirin. If your hemoglobin gets too low, your doctor may recommend reducing or stopping your ribavirin dose, especially if you are at risk for any cardiac problems.

White blood cells (WBCs): White blood cells help fight infection electricity balloon experiment. There are five major types of WBCs—basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and neutrophils—and each has a different function. HCV treatment that includes peginterferon may cause a drop in WBCs, especially neutrophils. In the case of HCV treatment, low neutrophils or white blood cells do not indicate a compromised immune system unless the person has HIV or other coexisting immune problems.

Platelets (PLTs): Platelets are the sticky component in the blood that helps it to clot. A variety of conditions will cause low platelets, such as HCV treatment using peginterferon. However, if you have HCV and no other reason for a platelet shortage, it may indicate advanced liver disease. Platelets tend to drop gradually over a period of years as liver disease worsens. A person can live with fairly low platelets without severe consequences. If your platelets are low, ask your medical provider gas definition state of matter if you are at risk of bleeding. If you vomit or cough up blood, or can’t stop any bleeding, seek immediate medical help.

Prothrombin Time/International Normalized Ratio: Prothrombin time measures how long it takes your blood to clot. The liver makes clotting factors, so if your blood takes a long time to clot, it may indicate liver damage. If you can’t stop any bleeding, seek immediate medical help. The international normalized ratio or INR is the same test, but expressed in results using a standard that makes it easier to compare results regardless of which lab preformed the test.

Viral load (HCV RNA): This test is first performed to confirm you have hepatitis C. The actual number is not cause for concern or reassurance. Viral loads rise and fall without any correlation to hep C progression. Some people get frequent viral load tests and incorrectly assume that if the number is higher it means gas 76 station that their hep C is progressing. You may have a very high viral load and minimal liver damage or hep C symptoms. You may also have a low viral load and extensive disease.

Drug-Resistance Tests: Despite the high cure rates of current hep C treatments, some people fail treatment because they develop resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) [Note: RASs were formerly called resistance-associated variants (RAVs)]. Also known as polymorphisms, these are natural genetic variations of the virus. If HCV treatment isn’t working, your medical provider may test for the presence of RAVs. Routine monitoring for HCV drug gas refrigerator not cooling RAVs is not recommended unless a person has cirrhosis and the provider needs this information to determine the best treatment. Exceptions to this are when using drugs such as Zepatier, Olysio with Sovaldi, and Daklinza with Sovaldi. In those drugs, treatment decisions are based on the presence of certain polymorphisms.