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Friday, February 8, 2008

Hepatitis C: Current Treatment

This page provides general information on the currently available treatment options for chronic hepatitis C.
Patients with chronic hepatitis C should consult their doctors regarding possible treatment. Eligible patients should have evidence of chronic liver inflammation, diagnosed by liver biopsy, and infection with hepatitis C virus, documented by the presence of viral RNA in the blood. Not all patients with chronic hepatitis C, however, are good candidates for treatment with currently available drugs and the judgment of an experienced specialist is critical in determining which individual patients should be treatment.
The main goal of treatment of chronic hepatitis C is to eliminate detectable viral RNA from the blood. Lack of detectable hepatitis C virus RNA from blood six months after completing therapy is known as a sustained response. Studies suggest that a sustained response is equated with a very favorable prognosis and that it may be equivalent to a cure. There may be other more subtle benefits of treatment, such as slowing the progression of liver scarring (fibrosis) in patients who do not achieve a sustained response.

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