Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) . Basically, your blood sample is broken up and certain parts are "fed" to E.coli bacteria, which grow real fast. then when there are enough of them, they are put into the "bacteria-matic". Then that stuff is separated, and the remains are x-rayed, producing that pretty sheet of stripes that you see in cops an robbers shows and the OJ trial.

There are 2 sets, one side is the control, which is a known HCV, the other side is you. If they match you have the virus. - Bruce B.

There are 3 major tests for HCV.

1) The ELISA test detects antibody to the virus.

2) The RIBA test is the confirmatory test for HCV.

3) The Quantitative HCV PCR test, which measures the amount of virus circulating in a person's blood stream.

Click on the links below to read more about PCR

Viral load may not be linked to liver damage

Sustained response to INF rarely achieved with high viral load

HCV RNA levels & genotypes: Their significance

Viral load - What is it?

How Viral Load Relates to Liver Injury

Correlaton Between Number of HCV Particles and Disease Activity

Cryoglobulenimia as a Cause of False-Negative PCR Results

Fluctuations in Viral Load

Are Human Platelets A Site Of HCV Replication?

Role of PCR in Defining Infectiousness of HCV

How is testing for HCV done is what is the significance of a positive test

A search for hepatitis C virus polymerase chain reaction-positive but seronegative subjects

Effective detection of active HCV infection

Rational use of PCR

Comparison of Plasma Virus Loads

Viral load quantation

Viral Load and Enzyme Levels Do Not Predict Severity of Liver Disease in HCV

Virus titre and histological inflammation activity in chronic hepatitis C

Comparison of viral loads done by various methods

Indeterminate PCR and the Influence of Genotypes

Comparison of quantitative HCV RNA assays in chronic hepatitis C

HCV Titer, ALT Elevation, and Liver Histology

Circulating HCV RNA Does Not Increase Pregnancy Complications

HCV-RNA Levels and Response to Interferon

HCV Titer, ALT Elevation, and Liver Histology

Indeterminate PCR and the Influence of Genotypes

The Ideal Cut-Off of Viremia Levels in Treating HCV to Improve the Cost/Benefit Ratio of Interferon Therapy

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