Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Screening for hepatitis C virus infection: a review of the evidence for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Chou R, Clark EC, Helfand M. Screening for hepatitis C virus infection: a review of the evidence for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Annals of internal medicine. 2004 Mar 16; 140(6):465-79.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common bloodborne pathogen in the United States and is an important cause of patient morbidity and mortality, but it is unclear whether screening to identify asymptomatic infected persons is appropriate. PURPOSE: To synthesize the evidence on risks and benefits of screening for HCV infection. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE (through February 2003), Cochrane Clinical Trials Registry (2002, Issue 2), reference lists, and experts. STUDY SELECTION: Controlled studies of screening and antiviral therapy and observational studies on other interventions, risk factors, accuracy of antibody testing, work-up, harms of biopsy, and long-term outcomes. DATA EXTRACTION: Using preset criteria, the authors assessed the quality of included studies and abstracted information about settings, patients, interventions, and outcomes. DATA SYNTHESIS: There are no published trials of screening for HCV infection. Approximately 2% of U.S. adults have HCV antibodies, with the majority having chronic infection. Risk factor assessment could identify adults at substantially higher risk. Antiviral treatment can result in a sustained virologic response rate of 54% to 56%, but no trials have been done specifically in asymptomatic patients likely to be identified by screening. Data are insufficient to determine whether treatment improves long-term outcomes. There are no data to estimate the benefit from counseling or immunizations. Although risks of biopsy and treatment appear minimal or self-limited, data on other adverse effects of screening, such as labeling or anxiety, are sparse. CONCLUSIONS: Antiviral treatment can successfully eradicate HCV, but data on long-term outcomes in populations likely to be identified by screening are lacking. Although the yield from targeted screening, particularly in intravenous drug users, would be substantially higher than in the general population, data are inadequate to accurately weigh the overall benefits and risks of screening in otherwise healthy asymptomatic adults.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.