Test Directory

Hepatitis C Virus RNA Quantification with Reflex to HCV Genotype, Serum

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Updated Test Information:

Test Description
Hepatitis C Virus RNA Quantification with Reflex to HCV Genotype, Serum

HCV (RT-PCR) Quantification; HCV PCR; HCV Quantification; HCV RNA; HCV RNA Quantification; HCV Viral Load; HCVQN; Hepatitis C RNA Quantitation; Hepatitis C Viral Load; HCV Genotype; HCVG; HCV Genotyping

Test ID
General Information

Useful for:

  • Detection of acute HCV infection before the appearance of HCV antibodies in serum (ie, <2 months from exposure)

  • Diagnosis of acute hepatitis C in high-risk or immunosuppressed individuals who may be negative for HCV antibodies

  • Detection and confirmation of chronic HCV infection, and determining HCV genotype (1 to 5) to guide antiviral therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C

  • Quantification of HCV RNA in serum of patients with chronic HCV infection (HCV antibody-positive) before initiating antiviral therapy

  • Determining cure and detection of relapse of HCV infection after completion of antiviral therapy

  • Do not order this test to monitor response and progress during antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C

  • See Chronic Hepatitis C Treatment and Monitoring Algorithm

  • See Hepatitis C: Testing Algorithm for Screening and Diagnosis

Specimen Type


Specimen Requirements

Serum Gel (SST)

Additional Processing Details

  • Centrifuge blood collection tube per collection tube manufacturer's instructions

  • Pour off serum into aliquot tube

  • Freeze serum immediately, and ship specimen frozen on dry ice only

  • If shipment will be delayed for more than 24 hours, freeze serum at -20 to -80 ^C (up to 42 days) until shipment on dry ice.


  • Frozen (preferred): 42 days

  • Refrigerated: 72 hours


  • Except for immunocompromised patients or patients with suspected acute hepatitis, laboratory evaluation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection status should begin with HCV serologic testing, including testing for the presence of HCV antibodies (See Hepatitis C: Testing Algorithm for Screening and Diagnosis in Special Instructions.). A diagnosis of chronic HCV infection should not be based solely on the presence of detectable or quantifiable HCV RNA in a single serum specimen

  • An "Undetected" HCV RNA test result with a "Reactive" HCV antibody screen result may be due to 1) a falsereactive HCV antibody screen result; 2) resolved or past HCV infection; or 3) transient low viremia (ie, episodic viral replication) of active HCV infection. To distinguish between the first 2 conditions, another HCV antibody test (eg, HCCAD / Hepatitis C Virus Antibody Screen for Cadaveric or Hemolyzed Specimens, Serum) can be requested. To distinguish between the latter 2 conditions, patients should be retested for HCV RNA in 1 to 2 months, as clinically indicated.


  • HCVQG: Real-Time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)

  • HCVGR: RT-PCR followed by Hybridization with Sequence-Specific, Fluorescent-Labeled Oligonucleotide Probes

Estimated TAT

3-8 days

Testing Schedule



60 days

CPT Code(s)


Additional Information
Minimum Sample Volume

1.6 mL

Reference Range


Reflex Conditions

  • HCVG: HCV Genotype

  • HCVGR: HCV Genotype Resolution

Performing Lab


LOINC Code(s)