Q. Is it fine to have PCR tests negative but antigen test positive for hepatitis C?

Answered by
Dr. Parth R Goswami
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 19, 2019

Hello doctor,

I want to know your opinion. I have had two positive hepatitis C antigen tests and the doctor had a polymerase chain reaction test that was negative for hepatitis C. He said I was one of the lucky ones. He said he could repeat and I did and again negative. All blood was concerning liver normal for 20 years. I had my gallbladder out and the doctor said the liver is perfect. I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy on Easter day 25 years back. Subsequently, nine IVF procedures and one exploratory surgery, one open surgery to tie the fallopian tube to prevent fluid washing out embryos. Necrotic ovary half removed 14 years back. A CT scan of organs all normal lately. All blood tests are normal except TSH thyroid and low vitamin D.

Dr. Parth R Goswami

Hematology Pathology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

You had a history of laparotomy operation as a consequence of ruptured ectopic pregnancy. But none of the surgical management has been related to your low TSH level. TSH level can be altered in infective condition or sometimes temporary due to non-thyroid illness. I suggest you repeat your serum TSH estimation and serum free T4 estimation after few days and revert back with that report.

For low vitamin D level, you need to take Cholecalciferol sachet once a week for eight weeks or tablet can be prescribed. You can rely on PCR testing for HCV as it can be considered superior testing.

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Thank you doctor,

My question was two PCR polymerase chain reaction tests negative for hepatitis C which is antigen positive. Do I have it or not? Scan on liver normal gallbladder removed and the movie made. Perfect liver. Scan normal. All blood work normal and the doctor is saying let us see if you have it by PCR testing and negative results twice. Now do I have it or not?

Dr. Parth R Goswami

Hematology Pathology


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

You had antigen test positive for hepatitis C and then your PCR testing was negative. If your PCR testing is negative then you cannot have chronic hepatitis C infection. PCR testing detects HCV RNA, so you can rely on it and you might not have hepatitis C infection. So you may need not repeat HCV testing if your PCR report is negative.

In a very few patients, infected with HCV, the infection can get cleared by our immunity and so your subsequent PCR testing was negative due to clearance of infection.

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