Screening For Hepatitis B & C
NYU Langone doctors provide screening for hepatitis B and hepatitis C, two forms of hepatitis that can become chronic and lead to serious liver damage without treatment.
Hepatitis is characterized by inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus. These diseases are contagious and can be spread from person to person through contact with bodily fluids such as blood and semen. Hepatitis B and C can also be passed from mother to child during birth.
Hepatologists, or liver specialists, and infectious disease specialists at NYU Langone recommend screening for some people who may be at increased risk of becoming infected.
Even though hepatitis B and C may cause no symptoms for years or even decades after infection, the viruses still may damage the liver. For this reason, screening is an important tool for early detection and treatment. It can prevent serious illness, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, and hinder the spread of infection.
Vaccination for hepatitis is also an important prevention tool.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis B
You may not have any symptoms of Hepatitis B until several weeks or months after you are infected with the virus. Or you may never have any obvious symptoms.If you have symptoms, the illness usually begins with these flulike symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Foul breath and bitter taste in the mouth
- Dark brown urine
- Yellowish skin and eyes
- Pain just below the ribs on your right side, especially if you press on that part of your abdomen
- Bowel movements that are whitish or light yellow and may be looser than normal.
Some people develop a chronic form of the disease without having any obvious symptoms, even though damage to the liver may be occurring. The symptoms of chronic Hepatitis B may be persistent fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite, as well as some of the other symptoms listed above.
What Happens During A Hepatitis Panel
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
You may also be able to use an at-home kit to test for hepatitis. While instructions may vary between brands, your kit will include a device to prick your finger . Youll use this device to collect a drop of blood for testing. For more information on at-home testing for hepatitis, talk to your health care provider.
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Can Hepatitis C Be Prevented
There are two ways of preventing hepatitis C. One way is to prevent people who dont have it from getting it. The other way is to prevent people who have it from spreading it.
The best prevention is to avoid exposure since you cant prevent hepatitis C by getting vaccinated. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne pathogen so you can limit your chances of exposure by avoiding risky behavior. Some are mentioned below:
- Dont share personal items like your razor, comb, or toothbrush.
- Use needle safety precautions if you use intravenous drugs, dont share needles.
- If you have multiple sexual partners, practice safe sex.
- Not getting a tattoo in an unregulated environment.
- Women who are pregnant and have any symptoms of hepatitis C virus infection should speak to their doctor about having a screening test for the virus.
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Why Is This Important
Hepatitis can cause severe liver damage if left untreated. It can be fatal. But, as with many conditions, early diagnosis and treatment can result in a good recovery.
With many sufferers unaware that they have early stage hepatitis, the opportunity to pick it up from routine blood tests in A& E departments could be crucial in helping identify sufferers.
In turn, this will reduce the risk of the disease becoming more severe and requiring more expensive treatments. This will enable patients to lead a normal healthy life. It will also reduce the risk of a carrier transmitting hepatitis to others.
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Counseling Practices That Educate Support And Motivate Clients Undergoing Screening
Clients might need help deciding whether to get screened, understanding the test results, and determining their next steps. Even when services offered through the substance abuse treatment program are limited, discussing testing with clients presents an opportunity for counselors to motivate clients for change by confronting substance use and by making choices that improve their overall health. However, this may also be true when services are offered on-site through substance abuse treatment programs. A study at one methadone clinic that offered hepatitis screening and vaccination revealed that although the majority of clients completed screening , only 54.7 percent of clients who lacked for hepatitis A received vaccinations and only 2.9 percent of clients who lacked immunity for received vaccinations .
The Consensus Panel makes the following general recommendations while recognizing that, in some programs, the counselors role may be limited:
How Do I Know If I Have Hepatitis
Viral hepatitis, such as hepatitis A , hepatitis B and hepatitis C , is diagnosed by your symptoms, a physical exam and blood tests. Sometimes imaging studies such as a sonogram or CAT scan and a liver biopsy are also used.
What are the types of Hepatitis?
There are several types of hepatitis, but the three most common in the U.S. are:
- Hepatitis A â It is considered highly contagious but is not a long-term infection and usually has no complications. Your liver usually heals within two months. Preventable with a vaccination, it can be spread by eating or drinking something that has been contaminated with the stool of a person who has the virus.
- Hepatitis B â While it can lead to long-term liver damage, most children and adults recover within 6 months. You can spread the virus even though you show no symptoms. Pregnant women who are infected by the virus can pass it along to their newborn. Also, preventable through vaccine, hepatitis B is spread by:
- Having sex with someone who’s infected
- Sharing dirty needles
- Having direct contact with infected blood or the body fluids of someone who’s got the disease
Who’s at Risk for Hepatitis Infection?
You are at increases risk hepatis A if you meet one or more of these criteria:
- Children born to mothers who have HBV
- People with certain high liver function blood tests
- Feeling sick to the stomach
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Can I Take The Test At Home
Samples for hepatitis B testing can be collected at home. At-home hepatitis B testing requires a patient to collect a blood sample, typically from a fingerstick using a very small needle provided in the test kit. Once a blood sample is collected, it is prepared according to the instructions contained in the test kit and mailed to a laboratory for testing.
Because there are numerous types of tests for HBV, it is important to look closely at the specific components of any at-home test kit. Many at-home test kits only look for hepatitis B surface antigen .
What Is An Hcv Antibody Test
An HCV antibody test is used to determine whether youve contracted the hepatitis C virus.
The test looks for antibodies, which are proteins made by the immune system that are released into the bloodstream when the body detects a foreign substance, such as a virus.
HCV antibodies indicate exposure to the virus at some point in the past. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to get results back.
. The blood panel will either show that you have a nonreactive result or a reactive result.
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Technological Advances And Innovations To Improve Access To Testing
Understanding the major reasons for the current low rate of hepatitis testing in resource limited settings is critical to inform optimal positioning of new technologies to expand access to testing and treatment . In addition to the current limited number of clinics and settings offering viral hepatitis testing and low demand from general population due to the lack of awareness on viral hepatitis, the costs of assays to confirm virological infection remain high and unaffordable for many hepatitis control programmes in low and middle income countries . In recent years, diagnostic innovations in many areas of health have been driven by well-funded high priority diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis, global health emergencies and epidemic preparedness and information technology and data connectivity . Examples of these innovations include HIV self-testing, mobile health applications, integration and co-location of HIV/AIDS tuberculosis and drug treatment services . Table summarizes a range of strategies and technological innovations that can be leveraged to improve access to HBV and HCV testing and treatment monitoring.
Table 2 Summary of innovative technologies to provide more affordable and simplified HBV and HCV testing and treatment monitoring
Integrated multidisease testing platforms
Hiv And Hepatitis B And Hepatitis C Coinfection
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are liver infections caused by a virus. Because these infections can be spread in the same ways as HIV, people with HIV in the United States are often also affected by chronic viral hepatitis.
Viral hepatitis progresses faster and causes more liver-related health problems among people with HIV than among those who do not have HIV. Liver disease, much of which is related to HBV or HCV, is a major cause of non-AIDS-related deaths among people with HIV.
Given the risks of hepatitis B or hepatitis C coinfection to the health of people living with HIV, it is important to understand these risks, take steps to prevent infection, know your status, and, if necessary, get medical care from someone who is experienced in treating people who are coinfected with HIV and HBV, or HIV and HCV.
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Rapid Point Of Care Diagnostic Testing
LMIC may benefit from reappraisal of the testing algorithm used in high income countries, such that entry into care and treatment is initiated based on a combination of rapid and confirmatory testing to provide the most efficient, cost-effective, and accurate diagnoses . Significantly, the cost-effectiveness and utility of rapid tests for effective screening is not necessarily realized in high resource countries, dependent on infection prevalence and the rate of successful prevention and management of chronic infection . Well-recognized testing platforms for rapid diagnostic testing that will be discussed in this review include lateral flow devices , rapid, cartridge-based molecular marker detection devices, and dried blood spot collection to facilitate screening, diagnosis, and monitoring.
Hepatitis C Antibody With Reflex To Hcv Rna Quantitative Real
Hepatitis C Antibody with Reflex to HCV, RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR Lab Test procedure CPT Code: 86803
Screening for the next conditions: Hepatitis, Liver Disease, Jaundice, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Travelers’ Diseases, Cirrhosis
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Educating Clients About Viral Hepatitis
Clients may believe they know about viral , but their understanding of the disease may not be accurate. It is easy to confuse the three main types of viral , B, and C. Clients may have formed impressions based on limited or incorrect information. Counselors should briefly describe hepatitis A, B, and C, including their prevalence, , and relationship to drug use, as well as to other infections, such as HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. Specific strategies for speaking with clients include:
- Speak clearly and keep the message simple, focused, and brief.
- Use language, examples, and concepts that the client understands.
- Use appropriate visual aids.
- Frame numerical statements in terms that are easy to visualize. Say 5 out of 100 people rather than 5 percent of the population say more than half instead of the majority.
- Repeat the information at different times in different ways. The average client retains only approximately one-third of what he or she is told. Summarize essential points.
- Pay attention to a clients response to the information. For example, if a client stiffens his or her posture, consider saying, I notice that this topic seems to make you uncomfortable. It does for a lot of people. Please tell me what youre feeling right now. Id really like to help you with this.
- Use the opportunity to describe the potential detrimental effects of alcohol and other substance use on the liver of a person who is infected with HCV.
Where Can A Person Get Tested
A person can have an HCV antibody test at a primary care physicians office, a clinic, or a local laboratory.
Costs vary, depending on whether a person has insurance and which pharmacy they use. Some pharmaceutical companies cover copayments and provide the treatment for free.
Medicare covers testing costs for people:
- with a high risk of hepatitis C
- who had blood infusions before 1992
- who were born between 1945 and 1965
The Department of Veterans Affairs covers most of the associated costs for veterans enrolled in its healthcare program.
The healthcare professional who ordered the test should explain the results in detail, as well as the next steps, if treatment is necessary.
The following table describes several outcomes of an HCV test, according to information from the
|The person once had or currently has the infection.||The person needs a second test to confirm whether they have a current infection.|
|HCV antibody reactive, HCV RNA detected||This means that the person has the infection.||The doctor will provide counseling and treatment.|
|HCV antibody reactive, HCV RNA undetected||The person does not have the infection.||Usually, there is no need for further action, but the doctor may recommend the second test.|
The second test mentioned above is called a nucleic acid test. It detects a current infection by checking whether there is any of the viruss RNA in the blood.
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Testing For Hepatitis In A& e Departments Is Likely To Be Cost
Accident and Emergency departments may be a cost-effective location for testing for hepatitis, new research has found.
Rates of hepatitis are higher among A& E patients than in the general population. This is because hepatitis is more common among marginalised communities – including people who are homeless or who inject drugs – and they attend A& E more often. Further, almost two in five patients in A& E have blood test as a routine part of their care, which could provide a valuable opportunity for testing for hepatitis.
Hepatitis B and C are inflammatory liver conditions, caused by different strains of the hepatitis virus. They are transmitted through body fluids and infection is confirmed by a blood test.
Symptoms include fatigue, weight loss and yellow skin and eyes. They may develop slowly and may not be immediately obvious. However, infection can lead to severe illness or liver failure unless treated with antiviral medication.
The new research suggests that testing for hepatitis in A& E departments may be more cost-effective than in other settings.
Monitor Your Liver And Overall Health
Having hepatitis C can be like swimming in murky water: You can’t see if there’s danger ahead. That’s because the virus can live quietly inside the body for years until it causes liver and even kidney damage. Because people can be asymptomatic, testing can be the one method of being sure whether you have hepatitis C. Luckily, with at-home hepatitis C tests, you can ease your mind from the comfort of your own home.
At-home testing allows you to ditch the health clinic lines and get results back quickly from certified labs. If you feel like your body may have been exposed either through drug-injection, sex, unregulated tattoos or body piercings, or sharing personal items, getting tested is recommended as soon as youre aware. Here we rounded up the best at-home hepatitis C tests, so you can start taking care of your health.
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Recommended Algorithms For Hepatitis Testing In 2017 Who Testing Guidelines
Table 1 Diagnostic performance of qualitative vs quantitative HCV RNA NAT in five studies included in 2017 systematic review
In settings where NAT for confirmation of HCV viraemic infection is not available, the WHO guidelines recommended that HCV core antigen with comparable clinical sensitivity to NAT technologies could be considered as a potentially more affordable alternative . This was supported by a systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy of seven commercial HCVcAg assays compared to NAT assays. Certain commercial HCVcAg assays had a high sensitivity and a high specificity .
Hepatitis B Profile Test Cost
Hepatitis B Profile test is used to screen or diagnose a Hepatitis B virus infection or to help in treatment and assess its effectiveness
You can find Hepatitis B Profile Test price information in 14 cities of India.
Price Comparison of Hepatitis B Profile Test in top Indian cities
When To Get Tested
- When you have symptoms suggesting acute infection with hepatitis B virus such as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, pale stools, jaundice and joint pains.
- If you have elevated liver enzymes such as alanine transaminase or aspartate transaminase.
- During routine screening for people who are at risk of being infected HBsAg can be ordered, these people include health workers, homosexuals, pregnant women, HIV-infected persons, people in contact with someone who has the virus.
- If you have chronic HBV infection, and you are on treatment, to monitor and known the effectiveness of treatment.
Test Result & Interpretation
If I have Hbv infection, will I need to have these entire tests done?Should I get Hbv vaccines?How is hepatitis B treated?
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