Publication Abstract

Authors: Spradling PR, Tong X, Rupp LB, Moorman AC, Lu M, Teshale EH, Gordon SC, Vijayadeva V, Boscarino JA, Schmidt MA, Holmberg SD, Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study (CHeCS) Investigators

Title: Trends in HCV RNA testing among HCV antibody-positive persons in care, 2003-2010.

Journal: Clin Infect Dis 59(7):976-81

Date: 2014 Oct

Abstract: BACKGROUND: A test for hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA is essential to identify persons with active, or current, HCV infection. We assessed trends in HCV RNA testing following a positive HCV antibody result among persons in 4 large healthcare organizations. METHODS: Data collected from adults with ≥2 clinical encounters during 2003-2010 were analyzed to determine the frequency of, interval between, and factors associated with having an RNA test after a first positive HCV antibody test. RESULTS: From 2003-2010, 5860 persons had a positive antibody test, of whom 3570 (60.9%) had a follow-up RNA test. During this period, the annual frequency of persons with an eventual RNA test did not change significantly; however, the fraction of persons who had the follow-up RNA test within 6 months improved significantly, from 45% in 2003 to 57% in 2010 (P < .001, for trend). Persons born during 1945-1965, men, and those with annual income <$30 000 (by census geocode) were less likely to have had a follow-up RNA test done within 6 months of a positive antibody test. CONCLUSIONS: Less than two-thirds of persons with a positive HCV antibody test had a follow-up RNA test. Rapid ascertainment of HCV infection status with reflex testing to RNA is critical to identify persons eligible for treatment.