Can I suffer from hepatitis C even if my hepatitis test reports are negative?

Q. Is it possible to have Sjogren's syndrome if lab reports show positive anti-SSA, anti-SSB, and rheumatoid factors?

Answered by
Dr. Mohamad Ali Rida
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 12, 2022 and last reviewed on: Aug 17, 2023

Hello doctor,

I recently had a complete lab test with my primary care provider in which my alanine transaminase (ALT) was 60 units per liter. My gamma globulin returned at 3.3 g/dL, and Sjogren's anti-SSA and anti-SSB levels were more than eight units per mL. The rheumatoid factor level was 34.2 IU per mL, and the vitamin D level was 24.4 ng per mL. Everything else was within normal range, but I was told I was suffering from hepatitis C, although my hepatitis test returned negative. Is this correct? The lab test that I completed include a hepatitis panel test, comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) test, serum and plasma test, screening of antinuclear antibodies (ANA), vitamin D test, and C-reactive protein test.



Welcome to

I doubt you have hepatitis C because the test is negative. It is common to have Sjogren's syndrome with positive anti-SSA (Sjogren's syndrome A), anti-SSB (Sjogren's syndrome B), and rheumatoid factor (RF). It all depends on your symptoms. Do you experience dryness in the mouth or eyes, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea? Do you have joint pain or swelling?

Thank you doctor for the reply,

I have had terrible back pain for over seven years, especially while sitting or standing in one position. Recently, it has been to the point where I am unable to get up from the bed or toilet. Additionally, my knees often hurt while standing, and I have body soreness when I wake up in the morning. However, I do not have any obvious swelling. I also experience pain in my heels and wrists, and I randomly get shock sensations in my wrists. I experience dryness of mouth and tongue irritation, especially with acidic foods. I also have a rash on my tongue that is typically red with a white border. My eyes are often dry, but I wear contact lenses which sometimes makes it worse. I do not experience abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting, but I usually have diarrhea and bladder issues. Sometimes, I feel a strong urge to urinate, but when I go to the toilet, I have difficulty passing urine.



Welcome back to

Your symptoms are consistent with Sjogren's syndrome, which causes mainly dryness of the mouth and eyes. It also causes meralgia paresthetica, a disease of the small nerves. I think you experience a burning sensation due to this disease. I do not think you have hepatitis C. I suggest you consult a rheumatologist to start treatment for Sjogren's syndrome as soon as possible.

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