Jun 30, 2009
Got home from GI earlier. Here are the things he has to say:
1.My liver enzymes have gone down from (ast/alt) 90/66 respectively, to 13/20 respectively.
2.Viral load 561(titer) (confirmed by repeat testing) yes, fivehundredsixtyone...no typo there. He said it's the lowest he's ever seen, and only recognizable due to today's technological advances in the sensitivity of the testing. Used to be that you were negative if you were below 50,000, then you were negative if you were below 10,000, then below 1,000, now the test today shows less than 50 as normal. So, if I had been tested 10 years ago instead of a few months ago, I would have shown up as normal, and therefore, negative for Hep C antibodies.
3.No genotype could be detected because of not enough virus in my blood to sample (not enough quantity, the lab said).
4.TREATMENT IS UNLIKELY..due in part to my normal liver enzymes, and in part to my low viral load. Says enzymes indicate either a great response by my immune system, in which case, interfuron is unnecessary, or the HCV is so bad, my immune system has stopped fighting it...unlikely.
He offered me the option of whether or not to do a biopsy bearing in mind it probably would not affect his inkling not to treat. I accepted, saying I want as much information as I can have about this, so he wrote me a referral to have it done.
I asked him if, hypothetically, I didn't see him again for 6 mos, or a yr, what would he expect my 561 viral load number to do...go up? down? stay same? His answer was the PCR can vary greatly even within a day, and is no indicator of liver damage; two biopsies (now and later) will better tell the story of liver damage or not. Says only 50% of people with HCV ever go on to cirhossis (sp?)...Unless one drinks alcohol...then odds go up to 90%
I also asked him, since my viral load is so low, why not treat now? Wouldn't it be easier to get rid on NOW? He says no..either I have the virus or I don't, and the viral load doesn't necessarily mean treatment. I asked if I shouldn't be having fevers, sweats, chills, flu-like symptoms if my immune system if fighting it right now. He said no.
There were some other findings unrelated to HCV indicating more tests...Upper G.I, LLQ pelvic ultrasound, CBC, PT, PTT tests before biopsy.
So, I think this is another case of hurry up and wait :] I'll keep writing; maybe not so much for you all, but so I can keep a record for myself. But, perhaps, as I post my Q&A with my GI Doc, he'll be answering questions some of you have as well.
Take care, you..yeah, YOU! :]