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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

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Hemoglobin: Associated Laboratory Test for Hepatitis C

for Veterans and the Public

Hemoglobin - Hepatitis C for Patients

Hemoglobin is a protein within red blood cells. Hemoglobin allows red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of the body.

Explanation of test results:

Measuring hemoglobin levels helps to estimate the number of red blood cells in the body. A low hemoglobin level is referred to as "anemia." If hemoglobin levels are very low, patients may feel tired easily.

Other things to know:

  • The hemoglobin level is related to the hematocrit (see next screen: "Hematocrit").
  • Low hemoglobin levels can develop during treatment with ribavirin (a medication sometimes used in hepatitis C treatment).
  • Often, lowering the dosage of ribavirin will help bring the hemoglobin level back up.