While it’s possible the government’s position on transmission of hepatitis C among boomers may have resulted in less testing, it’s critical today boomers forget any fears of stigma and get the easy blood test.
Context Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects
up to 1.8% of the US general population,
although the rate is significantly
higher in military veterans at 5.4–20%.
Early detection and accurate diagnosis
are critical as chronic HCV infection
can lead to liver cirrhosis and
hepatocellular carcinoma. Genotype
analysis has both therapeutic and
prognostic importance in patients with
Objective We compare two versions of a
commonly utilized platform for genotype
analysis in HCV infections and review
the implications of the results for
Design A retrospective review of 9401
genotype results from 2001–2010 were
analyzed. All results were obtained from
the James A. Haley VA Medical Center, a
large referral veterans’ healthcare
Results Genotype 1 was identified in
80.1% of samples, genotype 2 in 11.1%,
genotype 3 in 7.4%, and genotype 4 in
1.2%. Genotypes 5 and 6 were rarely
present in our patient population.
Improvements in diagnostic methodologies
over the study period resulted in shifts
in genotype subtyping. Specifically,
upgrading from the Versant HCV genotype
assay (LIPA) (Siemens, Tarrytown, NY) to
the newer version 2.0 assay resulted in
an increase in identification of
genotype 1a by 18.5%.
Conclusions Improved technologies lead
to accurate genotype identification and
subtyping, both of which have
increasingly important prognostic and
therapeutic implications. The clinical
importance of these results in patients
with HCV infections is reviewed.