Pretreatment Considerations for Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection
Last updated: August 14, 2012
A 46-year-old schoolteacher wants a second opinion about treatment of his hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. He was diagnosed with hepatitis C in the late 1990s by antibody testing done because routine laboratory studies showed an alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level of 65 IU/L (range 8-35 IU/ml). He now brings laboratory slips showing testing over the ensuing six years as follows:
The patient acknowledges some illicit drug use in late 1970s, but not since. He used to drink alcohol but stopped drinking 10 years ago. He has been treated in the distant past for depression with paroxetine (Paxil), but is not currently on treatment and he has no symptoms of depression. He is taking no medications and is not aware of any other medical problems. He is married with two children. His review of systems is negative and his physical examination is normal.
Which of the following statements is TRUE regarding the decision to start hepatitis C treatment for this patient?