Hepatitis C

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Duke hepatologists helped develop medicines called direct-acting antivirals that now cure more than 90% of people with hepatitis C. Without treatment, it’s still possible for advanced hepatitis C to lead to liver cancer or scarring of the liver known as fibrosis and cirrhosis. The resulting liver damage may make you a candidate for a liver transplant.

We help you manage your hepatitis C, whether it is newly diagnosed or has progressed to the point where advanced treatment is necessary. We have the skills and resources to provide the most effective treatment available and the best opportunity for recovery.

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Acute and Chronic Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a viral liver infection that is spread through contaminated blood and bodily fluids.

Acute Hepatitis C
Acute hepatitis C can cause mild to no symptoms and can resolve in a short period of time, sometimes without you knowing you have it.

Chronic Hepatitis 
Nearly 75% of acute hepatitis C cases turn into chronic hepatitis C. Symptoms of this ongoing infection may take years to appear. We want to cure hepatitis C well before any symptoms develop. Left untreated or poorly managed, chronic hepatitis C can lead to irreversible liver damage and liver cancer.

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Tests

Blood and Lab Tests

Blood tests are used to determine if you ever had hepatitis C. They can also determine if the virus remains in your blood and at what levels. Additional blood tests can pinpoint the specific type of hepatitis C you have, which helps your doctor customize your treatment.

Elastography

A noninvasive form of ultrasound may be used to determine the extent of liver fibrosis that has resulted from hepatitis C infection.

Ultrasound and CT

Imaging tests may be ordered to screen for liver cancer in people with advanced scarring.

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Treatments

Antiviral Medication

These drugs cure hepatitis C in nearly all people, usually within 12 weeks. There are several types of antiviral medications; your doctor will determine which is best for you.

Liver Transplant

A liver transplant may be the best option if hepatitis C results in severe liver damage. Your treatment team will carefully evaluate your condition to determine if this is the right path for you.

Best Hospital for Gastroenterology and GI Surgery in NC

Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our gastroenterology and GI surgery program is nationally ranked, and the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2024–2025.

Why Choose Duke

Experience
Our doctors helped develop direct-acting antivirals, and we have vast experience using these highly effective medicines to treat hepatitis C. We are proud to have cured hundreds of patients with the disease over the last several years.

A New Approach to Liver Transplant for People with Hepatitis C
High-quality organs from donors with hepatitis C may now be used for transplant in recipients without the disease. Their use may shorten your time on the waitlist. We have the expertise and resources to evaluate the health of a liver from a hepatitis C-positive donor and perform this procedure successfully. Antiviral medication follows the transplant to ensure a cure.

This page was medically reviewed on 07/21/2022 by