Forum for Collaborative HIV Research, University of California, Berkeley, and Washington, District of Columbia.
Retrospective analyses of the boceprevir and telaprevir phase 3 trial data demonstrate the clinical relevance of detected but not quantifiable hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 RNA during treatment. These analyses illustrate the importance of using precise and standard terminology in reporting low-level HCV RNA results for consistent data collection across clinical trials, and to ensure optimal virologic response-guided treatment decision making in clinical practice. In the context of currently available quantitative HCV RNA assays, we clarify that unquantifiable HCV RNA should be classified as target detected or target not detected, as both have been shown to reflect clinically different qualitative HCV RNA levels during treatment. Additionally, use of terms such as "undetectable" or "below limit of detection" should be avoided as such terms are imprecise, not consistently defined, and often misinterpreted.