Cost-Effectiveness of HCV Core Antigen versus PCR for Monitoring Treatment Response in DAAS-Treated Egyptian Patients

Article 17Volume 10, Issue 2, June 2020, Page 174-182  

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: 10.21608/AEJI.2020.26287.1060


Mohammed Alaa EL-Din Nouh1Mohamed Gamal Elhelbawy2Mohammed Abdel Badie Mohammed Soliman3Ahmed Ragab El-Gazzarah email  1

1Tropical Medicine department, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Egypt

2Clinical Pathology Department,Faculty of Medicine ,Menoufia University,Egypt

3Elahrar Teaching Hospital, Zagazig, Sharquiya Govenorate, Egypt.


Background and study aim: PCR is currently the non-debatable proof for diagnosis of HCV infection as well as conclusion of treatment outcomes. HCV core antigen (HCVcAg) testing is a neglected, less expensive and less time-consuming test that’s presumed to achieve the same aims. The aim of this study is to find the cost-effectiveness of HCV core antigen testing in the monitoring of treatment response as an alternative to the gold-standard PCR test.
Patients and Methods: 48 patients indicated for DAAs-therapy in the period from January- to July 2018. Pre- and post-treatment routine investigations including HCV-RNA levels as well as HCVcAg were done.
Results: There was a high statistically-significant difference (p<0.001) within the studied group as regards pre- and post-treatment results of HCV-RNA with a total SVR12 rate of 95.8% (46/48 patients). There was a high statistically-significant varaiation (p<0.001) as regards pre- and post-treatment levels of HCVcAg of the studied group. HCVcAg was detected in 89.5% of the included patients before treatment (43/48 patients). The 5 cases that tested negative for HCVcAg had HCV-RNA levels Conclusion: HCVcAg is a sensitive, specific test, less expensive (cost 0.46 that of PCR per single sample) but false negative results of HCVcAg existed with low viremia (< 2000 IU/ml).


DAAsSVR12HCV core antigen

Main Subjects