Multicenter evaluation of hepatitis C RNA levels among female injection drug users

David L. Thomas, Josiah D. Rich, Paula Schuman, Dawn K. Smith, Jacquie A. Astemborski, Karen R. Nolt, Robert S. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this investigation was to identify factors that determine the blood level of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA. By use of a quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay, the level of HCV RNA was ascertained in stored serum samples from 676 women enrolled in a multicenter prospective investigation who were seropositive for anti-HCV antibodies. HCV RNA levels ranged from undetectable to 22.4 × 106copies/mL in these women. Among the 520 women with detectable HCV RNA, levels were higher among those who were >41 years old and those who had human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. After adjusting for age in a multivariate linear regression model, HCV RNA levels were more strongly associated with HIV RNA levels than with CD4+lymphocyte counts. However, <6% of person-to-person variance was explained by the factors evaluated. Additional research is needed to ascertain what determines the level of HCV RNA in blood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-976
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Thomas, D. L., Rich, J. D., Schuman, P., Smith, D. K., Astemborski, J. A., Nolt, K. R., & Klein, R. S. (2001). Multicenter evaluation of hepatitis C RNA levels among female injection drug users. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 183(6), 973-976.