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Serum viral load is not associated with severity of the disease. It is NOT a measure of how sick a patient is.

Viral load is used to compare treatments by the FDA for the approval of the treatments. There is controversy about this, but no one has come up with something better. At one time, it was believed that the liver enzymes would indicate a response. Now, we have the PCR. We still are looking for something better.

You are correct, it makes no sense. That is usually my point. While we have nothing better by which to measure treatments for FDA approval, it is not the same as he viral load being an actual indication for (gasp!) a cure, or even an improvement. It is why careful monitoring is important for anyone, treated successfully or not. Again, normalized enzymes were a cure once, too. A repeat biopsy in 3-5 years will reveal whether there is progression of liver disease in patients, treated or not.

Treatment also may yet be found to be benficial for other manifestations of the disease. At this point, that remains speculative. The FDA has approved interferon treatment for the liver involvement only at this point.

There is alot of information that is contradictory. I think it is because we still have not connected all the dots. We probably haven't yet identified all the dots, either, for that matter.

This is an evolving body of information. I offer information so that patients understand context of the information and therefore, have better tools with which to protect themselves and make choices about how they wish to manage their disease.

I hope this helps.

thanbey

PS A stage 2 biopsy is very good and it is no where near cirrhosis. In fact, treating is optional, according to the current standard of care. Each doctor has his/her own perspective and each has the benefit of a medical chart and testing that no one on a website has. For that reason, what is right for you is what you and your physician decide is right for you. But, once again, that decision may not be right for someone else.

th

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www.hcop.org
preapproved by moderator1


[This message has been edited by thanbey (edited 10-04-2002).]






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