Summary

  • Transmission is through percutaneous exposure to infected blood, most commonly through injection of illicit drugs or transfusion of contaminated blood products in developed countries, or via contaminated medical or dental equipment in resource-poor countries.
  • Following acute exposure to hepatitis C virus, about 55% to 85% of patients develop chronic hepatitis C.
  • Most infections are asymptomatic; however, hepatic inflammation is often present and can lead to progressive hepatic fibrosis.
  • The goal of treatment is to eradicate the virus, achieve a sustained virologic response, and prevent disease progression.
  • Oral direct-acting antiviral therapies are standard treatment; therapy is evolving at a rapid pace.
  • Long-term complications of chronic infection include cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma.

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