How is chronic hepatitis diagnosed?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Blood tests, also called serological tests, are used to diagnose hepatitis B infection. Your doctor will test your blood for hepatitis B surface antigens and antibodies, as well as the presence of hepatitis E. Measured amounts of hepatitis B antigens are used to determine whether you have an acute or chronic hepatitis B infection. The presence of antibodies is used to determine if you have been infected with the HBV virus in the past or have a natural immunity to the infection. The presence of hepatitis E antigens indicates an active hepatitis B infection and increases your ability to spread the virus. Ongoing tests are used to monitor liver function in people infected with chronic hepatitis B.

Blood tests are also used to diagnose chronic hepatitis C. Your blood will be tested for hepatitis C antibodies and the amount of virus present in your body. Your doctors will also identify the type of hepatitis virus (genotype) and whether you have an acute or chronic infection. Additional tests will be needed to monitor the health of your liver, possibly including a liver biopsy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.