Positive RIBA, Indeterminate Antibody, Negative PCR RNA
This message board has many helpful people. I was hoping someone could give me some thoughts on some test results i have been given recently. A point to make is that i live in Canada. I'm not sure if the test results show differently in any way.
Had a physical for Life Insurance in December 2010. The tests were performed on December 20. ALT level was 47 with a normal range of 0-45. Hep B was negative. Hep C Ab (RIBA 3.0) was positive stating that a positive result meant that an "antibody was detected to at least two HCV proteins". There was also a band intensity given to which i have no clue what this means. Hopefully the formatiing works on this forum so this is what the result looked like. The results were a photocopy of a photocpy so i'm not sure if the Band intensity names are spelled correctly. Here are the results:
5-1-1B/C100B Band: Abnormal value of 2
CBBC Band: Normal value of 0
C22P Band: Abnormal value of 2
NS5 Band: Normal value of 0
DSOD Band: Normal value of 0
Chiron recombinant immunoblot assay HCV 3.0 Band Intensity (0=non-detected... ...4=strongly detected)
So i went to my doctor with horror and she made me do another bloodtest on about February 20, 2011. I had an anti-HCV test and an HCV PCR RNA test.
Anti-HCV results: Indeterminate. "Serology findings are equivocal for HCV infection. A follow up specimen of TWO SST blood is requested to test for HCV RNA by qualitative RT-PCR to define status of infection" My doctor followed up with a virologist ( i think thats the name). The 1st anti-HCV test was 1.2 which i was told is considered positive and the 2nd anti-HCV test was 0.9 which i was told is considered negative hence the indeterminate result.
HCV PCR-RNA: Negative. "Result was determined by Cobas Amplicor HCV v2.0 Qualitative (Roche Diagnostics System)
I have never done drugs and i don't believe i've ever had a blood transfusion. I was born overseas in Central Europe and my doctor had made a comment that perhaps the anti-bodies could have been passed on from my mother which i doubt. I have had unprotected sex (not much but i know that doesn't matter) but that was far back.
1. My ALT level is 47 but my doctor says they don't consider anything abnormal until the level is 50 or higher. My wife's nursing textbook actually gives the normal level up to 55. But should i care about this anyways? I have read that Hep C positive people can have normal ALT levels anyways.
2. I have tried to find the band intensity meanings and can't. Can anyone provide some info on what they mean and what my results mean if there is anything important in terms of band intensity?
3. For the anti-HCV results. What does 0.9 and 1.2 represent? Units of something? Googling numbers is a disaster and all i ever see is positive, negative and indeterminate results for this test. But do the values go from 0-4 which seems like it in the RIBA test? Maybe someone with experience can give me an idea what the numbers mean.
4. I was quite surprised with getting a negative PCR-RNA result as supposedly RIBA is quite accurate but of course this is for antibodies ONLY and the PCR-RNA test tells you if you have the VIRUS ITSELF. There are a few websites (maybe 1 or 2) that i have found that a single negative RNA test doesn't necessarily tell you that you don't have this virus. I know that the test is something like 99.5% accurate and i could fall in the 0.5% but i am surprised about these websites interpretations. Can a lab actually screw up somehow (besides switching my samples) to create a false negative?
5. How quickly would a PCR-RNA test detect the virus? From what i've read it is usually 3 weeks. If i had the positive RIBA test in late December 2010 would the PCR-RNA test pickup the virus 2 months later in my late February test?
6. I have read an answer on here about cross-reaction with other antibidies in your immune system. Is this a distinct possibility in my case?
Any information would be greatly appreciated. It's great sites like this and the responses especially from first hand experience that goes along way in calming me down in this time.
Thanks again for any responses.