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Hepatitis C Virus: Glossary

You may hear some of these terms during your hepatitis C virus (HCV) diagnosis and treatment. To learn more about these terms, ask your healthcare provider.

  • Direct-Acting Antiviral (DAA) Therapy. This refers to the newest medicine used to treat hepatitis C. There are multiple DAA treatments available today. Your healthcare provider can decide which one may be best for you.

  • Decompensated. This means the liver can no longer do its job. It is in the final stages of cirrhosis. When the liver can still do its job, it is called compensated.

  • End-stage liver disease. This means the liver is barely working. A liver transplant is needed at this point.

  • Fibrosis. This is the first stage of liver scarring. Scar tissue happens when the liver cells try to repair the damage caused by alcohol, hepatitis C, or other factors.

  • Genotype. This is a pattern of genetic information that is unique to a group of organisms or viruses. There are 6 or more genotypes of hepatitis C.

  • Nonresponder. This is someone for whom treatment does not work.

  • Platelet count. This tells how many platelets are in the blood. Platelets are cells in the blood that are needed for clotting. The platelet count goes down as scar tissue forms on the liver. This count helps healthcare providers know how much liver damage there is.

  • Relapser. This is someone for whom treatment seems to work at first. But after treatment, the virus comes back.

  • Responder. This is someone for whom treatment works well. A sustained responder is still HCV-free 6 months after treatment ends.

  • Sustained response. This is a response to therapy that continues over a long time period.

  • Sustained viral response. This is the goal of hepatitis C treatment. No detectible hepatitis C virus RNA at 3 or more months after the end of interferon treatment.

  • Viral load. This is the amount of HCV in the blood at a given time. The lower the viral load, the better the chance that treatment will work.


Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 12/1/2016
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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