Hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA Viral Load

Quantitative Taqman PCR assay for HCV RNA in serum or plasma for measuring active HCV infection in chronic HCV, determining viral response to antiviral therapy or to detect early HCV infection prior to seroconversion following a body fluid exposure incident. For testing advice or URGENT testing, please contact GSTT on-call Infection StR via the hospital switchboard. This assay is available routinely Mon, Wed and Fri.
This test is not UKAS accredited.
Clinical details: 
Anti-viral therapy, abnormal LFTs, chronic hepatitis, body fluid exposure
Reference range: 

15 to 10,000,000 IU/mL

Synonyms or keywords: 
HCV, HepC, anti-viral therapy, sustained virological response, SVR,
International Units per millilitre (IU/mL)
Sample type and Volume required: 
4-9ml Purple Top EDTA blood (for whole blood or plasma). If insufficient plasma available 2.5 – 5ml Yellow Top Serum Separation Tube (SST) Clotted Blood (for serum) may be used. Note: If using Electronic Patient Record (EPR) please order "Hepatitis C Viral Load (Roche)".
Call in advance: 
Only for urgent cases
Turnaround time: 
7 working days (1 - 2 days for urgent samples)
Storage and transport: 
Place labelled sample in a sealed sample bag and send to Central Specimen Reception (CSR). Samples should be sent to CSR promptly as the sensitivity of assays that detect RNA/DNA depend on sample quality/integrity. Please store samples in a refrigerator if there is a delay in sending samples to CSR.
Infection Sciences Department at St Thomas' Hospital
020 7188 8008
St Thomas' Hospital
North Wing - 5th Floor
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
Core opening hours: Monday-Friday 0900-1730

For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 21/07/2021