Significance of anti-HCV signal-to-cutoff ratio in predicting hepatitis C viremia

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Background/Aims: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA testing can be performed using qualitative or quantitative assays, and it is still unclear which is more useful as a primary test in patients positive for anti-HCV. The present study evaluated the usefulness of anti-HCV signal-to-cutoff ratio (S/CO ratio) for predicting HCV RNA results. Methods: Patients on whom a qualitative HCV RNA test was performed due to a positive anti-HCV enzyme immunoassay were enrolled. Patients were divided into viremia and no-viremia groups according to HCV RNA results. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of anti-HCV S/CO for a diagnosis of viremia. Results: In total, 487 patients were enrolled. HCV RNA was positive in 301 subjects (61.8%). Age, serum ALT level, and anti-HCV S/CO ratio were significantly different between the viremia and no-viremia groups. By ROC curve analysis, anti-HCV S/CO ratio (area, 0.989; 95% confidence interval, 0.981 to 0.998) accurately predicted the presence of viremia, with a cutoff value of 10.9 (sensitivity, 94.4%; specificity, 97.3%). Conclusions: Anti-HCV S/CO ratio was found to be highly accurate at predicting HCV viremia. The anti-HCV S/CO ratio can be used to determine whether a quantitative or qualitative HCV RNA test should be used to confirm HCV viremia in patients with a positive anti-HCV by the following criteria: if the anti-HCV S/CO ratio is <10.9, a qualitative HCV RNA test can be used, and if the anti-HCV S/CO ratio is ≥10.9 a quantitative HCV RNA test can be performed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-308
Number of pages7
JournalKorean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec 21


  • Antibody titer
  • Enzyme immunoassay
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Viremia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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