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Hepatitis C, Acute
2007 Case Definition

CSTE Position Statement(s)

  • 09-ID-40
  • 1997-ID-10

Clinical Description

An acute illness with a discrete onset of any sign or symptom consistent with acute viral hepatitis (e.g., anorexia, abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting), and either a) jaundice, or b) serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels >400 IU/L

Laboratory Criteria for Diagnosis

One or more of the following three criteria:

  • Antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) screening-test-positive with a signal to cut-off ratio predictive of a true positive as determined for the particular assay as defined by CDC. (URL for the signal to cut-off ratios:, OR
  • Hepatitis C Virus Recombinant Immunoblot Assay (HCV RIBA) positive, OR
  • Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) for HCV RNA positive
AND, meets the following two criteria:
  • Immunoglobulin M antibody to hepatitis A virus (IgM anti-HAV) negative, AND
  • IgM antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (IgM anti-HBc) negative

Case Classification


A case that meets the clinical case definition, is laboratory confirmed, and is not known to have chronic hepatitis C.


The 2007 case definition appearing on this page was re-published in the 2009 CSTE position statement 09-ID-40. Thus, the 2007 and 2010 versions of the case definition are identical.