MADISON, N.J., December 4, 2015 – In its commitment to provide diagnostic insights that enhance patient care and outcomes, Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX) will automatically perform molecular testing on all patient specimens whose antibody screening results indicate hepatitis C virus infection, and remove standalone positive antibody screening as a test option. The change to the company's service menu eliminates the prospect a patient may receive a positive screening result but fail to undergo additional molecular testing, as recommended by medical guidelines, to help confirm a diagnosis of active hepatitis C infection, the cause of chronic hepatitis C.
Conventional laboratory and medical practice for hepatitis C virus infection involves referring a patient for a second office visit and blood draw if the initial antibody screening test produces a positive result. As many as 60% of people who receive a positive antibody screening test for hepatitis C in the United States do not undergo guideline-recommended molecular testing to help identify active infection.
"This change to Quest's test offerings is medically responsible and appropriate. It closes a gap in current hepatitis C care by reducing the possibility a patient will undergo multiple office visits and blood draws or be inappropriately referred to specialists based on incomplete testing," said Rick L. Pesano, MD, PhD, vice president, development, science and innovation, Quest Diagnostics. "With this change to our offering, we will help more people receive insights they can use to access effective treatment and ultimately lead healthier lives."
Labels: Antibody testing, HCV RNA testing