New perspectives in the diagnosis of hepatitis C

Eugene R. Schiff, Maria De Medina, Rizwana S. Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Since the identification and molecular characterization of the non-A, non-B hepatitis virus (HCV) in 1989, a variety of diagnostic tests based on the detection of hepatitis virus antibodies or HCV RNA in the serum have been developed and refined. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and the recombinant immunoblot assays (RIBAs) exhibit improved sensitivity and specificity for HCV antibodies compared with their predecessors, and the ELISA-3 is at the forefront of HCV screening. Furthermore, the advent of molecular assays that employ quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction to detect HCV RNA has allowed clinicians to track the natural history of HCV and to monitor the progress of therapy. A role for further refinement of an HCV diagnosis using tests to determine genotype, subtype, and quasispecies is explored. In addition, the role of liver biopsy and noninvasive markers of histologic status are placed into the context of patient prognosis. This article reviews the state-of-the-art tests and assays developed for the diagnosis and management of HCV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-16
Number of pages14
JournalSeminars in liver disease
Issue number1 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - May 20 1999


  • Chronic hepatitis C
  • Diagnosis
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
  • Recombinant immunoblot assay
  • Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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