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Hepatitis Resource Center




Ask the Doctor (Library of Questions and Answers)

Treatment Category:

Question: My husband has been diagnosed with hepatitis C. He has been 1
month into rebetol and peg-interferon therapy. At 4 weeks into treatment
his alpha-fetoprotein level has jumped from 800 to 1200 with the norms
being at 400. Could this increase from 800 to 1200 have anything to do
with the absorption of the therapy at 4 weeks? Interferon Dosage is .4ml a week. Rebetol is 5 a day.

Answer:  It is unlikely that the increase in AFP from 800 (prior to beginning interferon+ribavirin treatment) to 1200 (1 month after starting treatment) is due to treatment with interferon+ribavirin.   In most patients, AFP decreases during treatment with interferon+ribavirin.   I would be concerned about liver cancer in this patient.   Talk with a gastroenterologists about tests for the diagnosis of liver cancer.  Also, repeat the AFP blood tests.

Transmission Category:

Question: Hello.  Here's a silly story, but it concerns me: one night, a
few buddies and I had a little too much to drink.  One buddy of mine was
so drunk that he told a "dark" secret.  Realizing it, he asked all
of us to cut our finger and sign in blood never to tell anybody.  Knowing
that none of my buddies are HIV positive, I wasn't concerned so I decided
to go along with the stupid plan.  The next morning I realized that it
could be possible that Hepatitis C got transmitted to me.  I had been
concerned while doing it, so before I cut myself I put some rubbing
alcohol on it (not sure what percent, it wasn't mine).    Could that have
lowered my risk, and is this a necessary situation where I should get
tested for it?    Thank you very much, I hope to hear from you soon.

Answer: Rubbing alcohol probably did not lower your chance of getting hepatitis C.  How long has it been since this happened?   If it has been at least 6 months, then get tested for hepatitis C.   Blood tests you might consider getting are hepatitis C antibody, hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis C PCR, ALT and AST.

General Hepatitis Category:

Question: My Step- father just passed away. I just found out that in
during hospitalization in '96 it was found that he had 'gangrenous
hepatitis'. He was a heavy drinker, and the coroners report told of how he
had cirrhosis of the liver. My mother was tested in '98 for various
diseases and did not have hepatitis. They were married for many years, and
have kids. They got divorced around 1998.  My question is what kind of hepatitis does this information suggest?

Answer: I don't know what type of hepatitis is suggested by "gangrenous hepatitis."   Try to get a copy of the medical records of the step-father and take the medical records to a doctor to look at. [Sorry, this question was not able to be answered based on information provided] 

Bookstore is Open!

There are many, many books on hepatitis C and hepatitis B, including books and reference materials for both providers and patients.  Please visit our new and complete Hepatitis Bookstore at Amazon.com. Once inside the Bookstore, click on any book and you will find out all the details about the publication.  Order a book now and receive it delivered directly to your front door, or anywhere.  Books make excellent gift ideas.

Important Drug Alert
Alternative and Complementary Medicine
  • Distinctive Views on Choices for Hepatitis C Patients

  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

  • FAQ Coinfection HIV/HCV

  • Hepatitis C Fact Sheet

  • Hepatitis Glossary (CDC)

  • Liver Biopsy Preparation and Recovery

  • RUSH Articles on Liver Disease

  • Tattoo Risks (CDC)

  • What is an abdominal ultrasound?

California Medical Insurance and Access Resources
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) Program

  • Medi-Cal Information

California Non-Profit Organizations
All Viral Hepatitis:
  • American Liver Foundation
    Northern California, San Francisco

  • American Liver Foundation
    Greater Los Angeles

  • American Liver Foundation
    Southern California, San Diego

  • Hepatitis Foundation International
    West Coast Office

Hepatitis C:
  • California Hepatitis C Resource Center

  • Hepatitis C Support Project

  • Children’s Liver Alliance
    Support groups for family and friends of children with liver disease

  • Children’s Liver Association for Support Services
    Family support, education and information services

  • Children's Liver Disease Foundation
    An organization providing family support, education and information services

  • Children’s Organ Transplant Association
    Fundraising association helping children needing transplants

  • Hepatitis Foundation International
    Award winning videos and instructional materials for children and young adults

  • Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases
    Help for families and children affected by viral hepatitis

CME Online Courses
  • www.ama-assn.org/cgi-bin/cme-redir
    AMA's CME locator is an online database that contains more than 2,000 AMA category 1 educational activities. These activities are either sponsored by credible CME providers, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or approved by the AMA.

  • www.cmeweb.com/
    This site offers tests approved by a variety of organizations worth 1.5 category 1 credits.

  • www.healthgate.com/
    Topics from Boston University School of Medicine include myocardial infarction therapy, primary angioplasty vs. thrombolysis, and vitamins and lipid lowering. AMA category 1 credits are offered.

  • http://www.medmatrix.org/reg/login.asp 
    This site contains an annotated list of accredited CME sites from the Medical Matrix, a well-known listing of medical sites.

Hep B
  • Hepatitis B Virus Page
    HBV virology including history, pathogenesis, life cycle of the virus and other clinical features.

Hep C
  • Peg-Intron Product Information (Schering Hepatitis Innovations)

  • Rebetron Product Information (Schering Hepatitis Innovations)

  • Information about Rebetron, PEG-Intron, and PEG-Intron with ribavirin

  • Various Treatment Articles, current and archive HCV Support Project

  • National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse (NIDDK) – Treatment of Hepatitis C

  • Pegasys – the newest treatment for hepatitis C

  • www.All-About-HepatitisC.com - Designed to help those looking to learn more about hepatitis C, including its causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

HIV/HCV/HBV Coinfected Population:
  • FAQ Coinfection HIV/HCV

  • HIV and Hepatitis.com
    Excellent web site for new information, publications and education on HIV coinfection with viral hepatitis

  • National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project
    Coinfection information, education, radio show and archive topics

  • Hepatitis C Support Project
    Educational information on HIV/HCV coinfection available for download

  • CDCs Hepatitis Information Line

  • Hep-Connection

  • Hepatitis Foundation International

  • National Hepatitis Hotline

Immunization and Prevention:
  • All Kids Count (AKC)

  • CDC Immunization Hotline
    1-800-232-2522 (English) 1-800-232-0233 (Spanish)

  • Immunization Action Coalition

  • Stop Hepatitis A and B

Liver Transplantation:
  • All About Transplantation and Donation

  • California Coalition on Donation
    (Northern CA)
    Mary Wallace: 510-273-6740

  • California Coalition on Donation - San Diego 
    Sharie Shipley: 619-521-1983

  • California Coalition on Donation - Southern California 
    Gloria Bohrer: 858-756-3136

  • California Transplant Donor Network

  • Transplant Awareness, Inc.
    Promotional items and slogans to promote organ and tissue donation

  • TRIO – Transplant Recipients International Organization

  • TRIO Chapter California: San Francisco Bay Area 

  • TRIO Chapter California San Francisco

  • National Transplant Fund

  • United Network for Organ Sharing

National Organizations:
  • American Liver Foundation

  • Centers for Disease Control, Hepatitis Branch

  • HCV Advocate

  • Hepatitis Foundation International

  • HIV and Hepatitis

  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

  • Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases (PKIDS)

Newsletters and Magazines:
  • Hepatitis B Foundation

  • Hep C Connection

  • Hepatitis C Support Project

  • Hepatitis Foundation International

  • Hep Net Newsletter

  • Hepatitis Magazine

Nutrition Help:
  • Dial a Dietician

  • Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition
    Ask a Nutrition Question at this site!

  • NIDDK/National Institutes of Health
    Information 0n Nutrition, Weight Loss and Control

  • Nutrition and Alternatives and Liver Disease

Organizations of Interest to Providers:
  • American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)

  • American Medical Association (AMA)

  • American College of Gastroenterology (ACG)

  • American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA)

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Hepatitis B Foundation

  • Hepatitis Foundation International

  • Immunization Action Coalition

  • Board of Registered Nursing State of California

Other Organizations:
  • The Hemophilia Council of California

Prisons/Inmates/Correctional Officers
  • Viral Hepatitis and the Criminal Justice System
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Substance Abuse:
  • Access to Sterile Syringes
    Fact Sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Prevention Approaches and IDUs
    Overview of the comprehensive approach advocated by the CDC for prevention programs working with IDUs and their sex partners
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    • Brochure

    • Document

  • Publications and information for Providers and Patients

  • Viral Hepatitis and Injection Drug Users
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Training and Educational Materials for Providers:
  • Brochures for Your Office
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • CMEs through Medscape

  • CMEs OnLine through GE Medical Systems

  • Easy to Understand Brochures on Hepatitis A, B, C
    NIDDK/National Institutes of Health

  • FREE Educational Materials to Order
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Health Talk

  • Hepatology Journal

  • Interactive web-based training course on hepatitis C for professionals
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • List of Digestive Disease Organizations for Professionals
    Provided by the NIDDK/National Institutes of Health

  • NIH Consensus Conference Statement on Hepatitis C 2002
    National Institutes of Health

  • New England Journal of Medicine

  • Order Hepatitis C Awareness Posters for your Office
    10 Posters are Free!

  • Publications on Viral Hepatitis for Professionals to Download
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Slide Sets on Viral Hepatitis A-E
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Center for Minority Veterans
    Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Center for Women Veterans

  • Department of Veterans Affairs National Hepatitis C Program
    An excellent web site with resources for providers and patients covering latest news, research, and treatment programs

  • Hep C Vets
    General information for veterans on hepatitis C

  • Homelessness in Veterans
    Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Veterans Helping Veterans with Hepatitis
    Information for active and retired veterans on hepatitis; assistance in filing VA claims, links to VA sites and email addresses


© 2003 California Hepatitis Resource Center