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Hepatitis C - Update

Hepatitis C - Update

Hepatitis C - Update

Craig V. Towers, M.D., & Patricia D. Hastings, RN, BSN, MSN
Craig V. Towers, M.D., & Patricia D. Hastings, RN, BSN, MSN
on behalf of e-Ed Credits

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Review:

Launch date: 19 Sep 2017
Expiry Date:

Last updated: 29 Sep 2018

Reference: 184795

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Course Availability

This course is only available to trainees days after purchase. It would need to be repurchased by the trainee if not completed in the allotted time period. This course is no longer available. You will need to repurchase if you wish to take the course again.

Description

Many different viruses can lead to injury of liver cells producing hepatitis. Some of these are considered primary hepatitis viruses whereas others may produce hepatitis as part of their overall infection. For the primary hepatitis viruses, for years only two were distinctly known and were called Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. Everything else was labeled non-A non-B hepatitis. In 1989, Choo and Kuo identified an RNA viral strand that was felt to be the cause of non-A non-B hepatitis. This RNA virus was soon labeled Hepatitis C (HCV). Since the discovery of the Hepatitis C virus, several distinct genetic variants have been identified based on different nucleic acid sequences.

At the present time, 6 major genotypes exist and each of these have four to six subtypes, which are labeled progressively ""a"", ""b"", ""c"", etc. Some studies have reported genotypes 7 through 11, but most authorities list these as primarily variants of genotypes 3 and 6. The most common genotypes in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan are 1a, 1b, 2, 3a, and 4. The hepatitis C virus has been classified as a separate genus to the flavivirus family. This RNA virus is approximately 9379 to 9481 nucleotides long and is 30 to 38 nanometers in diameter.

As more information is obtained on the Hepatitis C virus, the potential clinical impact of this disease is becoming apparent. Research shows that the majority of post-transfusion hepatitis is caused by Hepatitis C. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 170,000 new cases occur per year in the United States alone. Based on information presented at the 1999 Consensus Conference on Hepatitis C, it is estimated that there are 170 to 200 million carriers worldwide, with 4 million in the United States. Of acute infections, only 20% have symptoms (meaning 80% or 4 out of 5 have no symptoms and do not realize they were infected). Once infected, 85% become chronic carriers and again they are usually asymptomatic. Of these chronically infected HCV carriers, 75% will have elevated liver function tests, which means that 25% have normal tests but are still carriers. Chronic hepatitis C is slowly progressive and it is estimated that 10% to 30% progress to cirrhosis after 20 years. Of those with cirrhosis, the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma is 2% to 5% per year. Therefore, the potential impact on healthcare in the United States and worldwide is enormous.

Furthermore, another difficulty that occurs in evaluating patients infected with this virus is that a viral marker antigen that denotes infectivity has not be identified. If one looks at hepatitis B, the presence of the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) denotes the possibility that a person is infectious. A similar antigen marker for hepatitis C does not exist at the present time. Therefore, research on the full ramifications of this virus is still limited to antibody studies and nucleic acid probes.

Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
1. Discuss the potential clinical impact of Hepatitis C infections and how patients are diagnosed and followed-up.

2. Describe the different ways in which the Hepatitis C virus can be transmitted between adults and to children through perinatal transmission and breastfeeding.

3. Discuss the potential treatment options for Hepatitis C infected individuals, the limitations of treatment, and the potential for an effective future vaccine or immunoglobulin.
Craig V. Towers, M.D., & Patricia D. Hastings, RN, BSN, MSN

Author Information Play Video Bio

Craig V. Towers, M.D., & Patricia D. Hastings, RN, BSN, MSN
on behalf of e-Ed Credits

Patricia D. Hastings has been a registered nurse involved in clinical practice for more than 25 years. She currently is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner for Desert Mountain Obstetrics & Gynecology Group. Prior to this, she was the Clinical Director of Obstetrics and Women’s Services at John C. Lincoln-North Mountain Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona and was a Case Manager for Vista Care Hospice. She is a member of AWHONN and is a certified Fetal Heart Monitoring Instructor. She is also a member of the ANA and is participating in the Advanced Practice Chapter of the Arizona Nurses Association.

She received her BSN and then her MSN from Wichita State University followed by a postmaster’s Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Certification from Arizona State University. She has provided several presentations regarding nursing concerns related to Women’ Health Care and has frequently lectured on normal and high-risk obstetrical issues. She has practiced clinically in Kansas, California, and Arizona.

Current Accreditations

This course has been certified by or provided by the following Certified Organization/s:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • 1.00 Hours

Faculty and Disclosures

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Conflicts Declared

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