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Improved Reflexive Testing Algorithm for Hepatitis C Infection Using Signal-to-Cutoff Ratios of a Hepatitis C Virus Antibody Assay K.K.Y. Lai, M. Jin, S. Yuan, M.F. Larson, J.A. Dominitz, and D.D. Bankson July 2011 © Copyright 2011 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Introduction Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a common chronic viral infection in the United States. –1.6% of the population test positive for antibodies to HCV (anti- HCV). –3.2 million (1.3%) are chronically infected. The diagnosis of HCV infection is based on the detection of: –Anti-HCV (HCV exposure) –HCV RNA (viremia)
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Introduction The strategies for detection of HCV infection by detection of anti-HCV and HCV RNA are variable. False positive results of anti-HCV by chemiluminescence immunoassay exist. Recombinant immunoblot assay has been used to confirm exposure to HCV. An improved reflexive testing algorithm for HCV infection may reduce unnecessary supplementary testing.
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Questions Is there a standard clinical laboratory testing strategy for detection of HCV infection? Why should laboratories consider reflex testing approaches based on the signal-to-cutoff (S/Co) ratio?
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Materials & Methods Methods: –Chemiluminescence immunoassay (CIA) –Recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA) –Reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) Study population: –34,243 patients were tested for anti-HCV by CIA. –More than 2,400 positive anti-HCV patients were further tested by RT-PCR. –About 800 patients negative for HCV RNA were further evaluated by RIBA.
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Materials & Methods Analytical Steps
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Materials & Methods Statistical Analysis –The following statistical data were calculated and analyzed : Diagnostic sensitivity Diagnostic specificity Positive predictive value (PPV) Negative predictive value (NPV) –ROC curves were constructed for: RT-PCR testing RIBA testing
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Questions What patient samples were used for CIA and RT-PCR testing? What is the definition of S/Co ratio for CIA testing? Why not screen for anti-HCV by RIBA?
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Results Prediction of HCV viremia with RT-PCR –An S/Co ratio of 20.0 is the optimal cut off value for the prediction of HCV viremia (Table 1 and Figure 2). Prediction of HCV exposure with RIBA –An S/Co ratio of 20.0 is the optimal cut off value for the prediction of HCV exposure (Table 2 and Figure 3). Prediction of HCV exposure and viremia –An S/Co ratio <3.0 rules out active HCV infection and exposure with 100% negative predictive value (Tables 1 and 2).
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Results
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Figure 2. PCR test ROC curve for different cutoff levels on the CIA for anti-HCV. The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity (95% CIs) are 100% (99.8%–100%) and 23.0% (20.3%–26.0%) for an S/Co ratio of 3.0, 99.7% (99.3%–99.9%) and 39.5% (36.2%– 42.9%) for an S/Co ratio of 8.0, and 95.5% (94.3%–96.5%) and 58.8% (55.5%– 62.2%) for an S/Co ratio of The area under the curve (95% CI) is (0.785– 0.827). Results
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Figure 3. The RIBA test ROC curve for different cutoff levels on the CIA for anti-HCV. The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity (95% CIs) are 100% (99.8%–100%) and 41.9% (37.3%– 46.6%) for an S/Co ratio of 3.0, 99.5% (99.1%–99.8%) and 70.9% (66.5%–75.1%) for an S/Co ratio of 8.0, and 93.3% (92.1%–94.4%) and 94.4% (91.8%–96.2%) for an S/Co ratio of The area under the curve (95% CI) is 0.983(0.977– 0.990). Results
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Questions What are the rates of positive results for HCV RNA and RIBA when the S/Co ratio is <3.0? What are the rates of positive results for HCV RNA and RIBA when the S/Co ratio is ≥20.0? Why do some of the CIA anti-HCV results need to be confirmed by RIBA?
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Conclusion: Proposed Algorithm of HCV Testing (Figure 4): If the S/Co ratio is <3.0 or ≥20.0, then RIBA is not necessary to confirm the negative or positive results, respectively. If the S/Co ratio is within the range of , then anti-HCV CIA results should be confirmed by RIBA, unless RT-PCR testing has been performed and the results are positive. Anti-HCV results with an S/Co ratio ≥20.0, or those with an S/Co ratio within the range of and confirmed positive by RIBA, should be further investigated by RT-PCR testing to assess for HCV viremia.
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Conclusion:
© Copyright 2009 by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Thank you for participating in this month’s Clinical Chemistry Journal Club. Additional Journal Clubs are available at Follow us
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