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The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done.

Tests to diagnose hepatitis may include the following:

  • Blood tests—Your blood is checked for the presence of hepatitis antigens and antibodies. Antigens are foreign proteins that are part of the hepatitis viruses. Antibodies are proteins that your body has made to fight the infectious agents.
  • Liver function studies—The levels of various liver enzymes, bilirubin, and clotting factors in your blood are measured to determine how your liver is functioning.
  • Liver biopsy—A sample of liver tissue is removed and examined under a microscope.

Liver Biopsy


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References:

Hepatitis A. American Liver Foundation website. Available at: http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/hepatitisa. Updated August 17, 2010. Accessed January 19, 2011.

Overview of acute viral hepatitis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hepatic-and-biliary-disorders/hepatitis/overview-of-acute-viral-hepatitis. Updated June 2010. Accessed January 19, 2011.

Overview of chronic viral hepatitis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hepatic-and-biliary-disorders/hepatitis/overview-of-chronic-hepatitis. Updated July 2010. Accessed January 19, 2011.

Viral hepatitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis. Updated October 15, 2010. Accessed January 19, 2011.

What I need to know about Hepatitis B. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/liver-disease/hepatitis-b/Pages/ez.aspx. Accessed January 19, 2011.



Last reviewed March 2016 by David L. Horn, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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