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Overview of the management of chronic hepatitis C virus infection

Sanjiv Chopra, MD, MACP
Paul J Pockros, MD
Section Editor
Adrian M Di Bisceglie, MD
Deputy Editor
Allyson Bloom, MD


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis. The acute process is self-limited, rarely causes hepatic failure, and usually leads to chronic infection. Chronic HCV infection often follows a progressive course over many years and can ultimately result in cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and the need for liver transplantation. (See "Clinical manifestations and natural history of chronic hepatitis C virus infection".)

This topic addresses the general management of patients with chronic HCV infection. Patient selection for treatment and specific treatment regimens are discussed in detail elsewhere. (See "Patient evaluation and selection for antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus infection" and "Treatment regimens for chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1 infection in adults" and "Treatment regimens for chronic hepatitis C virus genotypes 2 and 3 infection in adults" and "Treatment regimens for chronic hepatitis C virus genotypes 4, 5, and 6 infection in adults" and "Direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of hepatitis C virus infection".)


Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were released jointly by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) in 2014, are continuously updated, and can be accessed at www.hcvguidelines.org [1]. The discussion in this topic is generally consistent with those guidelines.

Other guidelines include treatment recommendations from the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) [2]. World Health Organization (WHO) also released guidelines in 2014 on screening and treatment of HCV, intended primarily for clinicians and policy-makers in low- and middle-income countries [3].

Links to these and other guidelines can be found below. (See 'Society guideline links' below.)

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 07, 2017.
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