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[Investigation of Anti-HCV S/CO Value in Detecting Viremia in Patients with Hepatitis C Virus Infection].

Anti-HCV and HCV RNA tests are used in laboratory diagnosis of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. False positive results are frequently observed in anti-HCV tests used as screening tests in societies with low prevalence of HCV. The HCV RNA test, which is a confirmatory test, is not performed in every laboratory because it is a high-cost and high-tech test, which can lead to delay in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. In this study, it was aimed to obtain an optimal anti-HCV S/CO value in our laboratory for demonstrating true antibody positivity and viremia in patients by analyzing the relationship between anti-HCV, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and HCV RNA using retrospective data. Between July 2014 and July 2017, 754.190 anti-HCV tests were performed. Patients aged 18 years or older who were reactive with anti-HCV and those with simultaneous HCV RNA and ALT prompts were included in the study. The second generation CMIA (Abbott, USA) method was used for anti-HCV detection. For quantitative HCV RNA analysis, viral nucleic acid extraction was performed with the QIAsymphony SP/AS (Qiagen, Germany) using the QIAsymphony DSP Virus/Pathogen Midi Kit; and PCR was performed by Rotor-Gene Q (Qiagen, Germany) using Artus HCV QS-RGQ kit. ARCHITECT c and AEROSET systems (Abbott, USA) were used for ALT measurement. HCV genotype determination (622 cases) was performed using GenoSen's HCV Genotyping 1/2/3/4 RG qualitative real time PCR kit (Corbett Research, Australia) and GEN-C 2.0 Reverse Hybridization Strip Assay (NLM Diagnostics, Italy) kit at different periods covered by our study. The optimal threshold value for the relationship between anti-HCV, ALT and HCV RNA was selected based on ROC analysis. Statistical significance was accepted as p<0.05. Of the anti-HCV test results, 10.679 were found to be reactive. 1754 data of 1290 cases with anti-HCV reactivity who were simultaneously tested for HCV RNA and ALT in the same serum were evaluated. Of these, 742 (42%) were found to be HCV RNA positive and 1012 (58%) were found to be HCV RNA negative. ALT and anti-HCV levels of those who were positive for HCV RNA were significantly higher than those with negative HCV RNA (p= 0.001). The threshold point for anti-HCV S/CO according to HCV RNA was found to be 7.13 (sensitivity of 97.4%, specificity of 50.3%, positive predictive value 58.9%, negative predictive value 96.4%), and the cut-off point for ALT was found to be 27.5 IU/L (sensitivity of 77.6%, specificity of 80.8%). For HCV RNA positivity, the area under the ROC curve for anti-HCV and ALT was significantly higher than 0.5 (p= 0.001). No statistically significant difference was found between HCV genotypes in terms of ALT and anti-HCV levels. By using our new threshold in the laboratory workflow, the need to verify with HCV RNA can be reduced, especially in some patients who have been screened for antiHCV for screening purposes. Anti-HCV values below 7.13 S/CO, considering the high negative predictive value of this threshold; a false positive result in a patient presenting for screening can be predicted without waiting for the HCV RNA result. In anti-HCV reactivities determined above 7.13, the possibility of absence of viremia should be considered due to the low positive predictive value.

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