Hepatitis B (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
Your doctor will diagnose hepatitis B based on a physical exam and blood tests. He or she also will ask about your medical history (including possible risks for the virus, such as your job and sexual activity).
Blood tests to diagnose hepatitis B
Blood tests are done to help diagnose hepatitis B. They include:
Blood tests to check for liver damage
Blood tests may be done to help find out if your liver has been damaged. They include:
Tests if you are having treatment or are thinking about it
Tests may be done if you have chronic hepatitis and are considering antiviral treatment. These tests also may be used to find out whether treatment has helped control liver damage. The tests include:
Test for liver cancer
An alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test may be done. If the AFP level is high, it may point to liver cancer.
If you have chronic infection, you will need to visit your doctor regularly. He or she will do blood tests to check your liver function and the activity of the virus in your body.
Some of the tests can tell your doctor if the virus is multiplying in your liver. This raises your risk for chronic hepatitis.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all pregnant women have the hepatitis B surface antigen test. The test can show if a woman has a current hepatitis B infection. This test also may be repeated later in the pregnancy if a woman is at high risk for infection. For more information, see What Increases Your Risk.
You can be tested for hepatitis B before getting vaccinated.
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