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What Is The Test For Hepatitis

What If I Have Symptoms Of Viral Hepatitis

What is Hepatitis C? | How is Hepatitis C Transmitted?

If you have symptoms or signs of viral hepatitis, your health care provider can perform a blood test to check for the presence of an antibody. If you have hepatitis B or C, more blood samples may be necessary later — even if the symptoms have vanished — to check for complications and determine if you have progressed from acute to chronic disease. Most people have vague or no symptoms at all hence, viral hepatitis is often referred to as a silent disease.

Your healthcare provider may also require a liverbiopsy, or tissue sample, in order to determine the extent of the damage. A biopsy is commonly performed by inserting a needle into the liver and drawing out a fragment of tissue, which is then sent to a lab to be analyzed.

Appropriate Uses Of The Hcv Rna Test

There are 4 major reasons that HCV RNA tests are used:

  • To confirm a positive HCV Ab result and make the diagnosis of current HCV infection
  • To measure a patient’s baseline viral load prior to starting HCV therapy
  • To monitor a patient’s response to therapy
  • To determine whether a patient has achieved a sustained virologic response
  • More rarely, HCV RNA is used when either very acute HCV infection is suspected or a false HCV Ab is suspected.

    It would not be appropriate to repeatedly order HCV RNA viral load screening for a patient who is not on or was recently on HCV treatment, or to use the HCV viral load to determine the severity of the patient’s infection or the patient’s risk of developing significant liver disease.

    How Could I Have Gotten The Virus Without Knowing It

    The virus is passed through contact with stool from an infected person, typically via contaminated food or water. If a person infected with HAV does not wash their hands after using the bathroom, that person can pass the virus by handling raw fruits and vegetables consumed by others, or directly through person to person contact. You can also contract the virus by eating raw or improperly cooked seafood that had fed in contaminated waters. You may also contract the virus through sexual contact with someone who is infected but asymptomatic.

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    What Other Laboratory Tests Might My Healthcare Practitioner Perform

    In addition to tests for hepatitis viruses, your healthcare practitioner may choose to run tests to see how your liver has been affected. These may include a liver panel or individual liver enzyme tests such as aspartate aminotransferase , alanine aminotransferase , and alkaline phosphatase . Your healthcare practitioner may also run a test for bilirubin and a prothrombin time , which can help determine if there is liver damage.

    What To Think About

    How Long Will I Test Positive for Hepatitis C Antibodies?
    • There is no vaccine to prevent infections with the hepatitis C virus.
    • All donated blood and organs are tested for hepatitis C before being used.
    • Other tests that show how well the liver is working are usually done if your doctor thinks you may have hepatitis C. These may include blood tests for bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, and aspartate aminotransferase.
    • Aspartate Aminotransferase
  • Provinces require that some types of hepatitis infections be reported to the local health unit. The health unit can then send out a warning to other people who may have been infected with the hepatitis virus, such as those who are close contacts of someone who has hepatitis C.
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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.

    Time For Processing Hcv Ab Test Results

    The turnaround time for 3rd-generation EIAs is at least 1 day. Many labs do not perform the tests on site and must send specimens to another lab for processing, which may further increase the turnaround time.

    A point-of-care test is also available. The OraQuick® HCV Rapid Antibody Test is an FDA-approved test that can be performed with a fingerstick . It is also a CLIA-waived test and therefore can be used in clinic offices and outreach facilities. Results are reported as reactive or nonreactive within 20 minutes. Just as for the standard HCV Ab test done in the lab, a positive OraQuick® test must be confirmed by an HCV RNA test. The sensitivity and specificity of the test is similar to that of the laboratory-based assays.

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    Wait Is Hepatitis An Std Or Sti

    Good question! Ultimately, it depends.

    Autoimmune hepatitis and alcohol hepatitis cannot be transmitted through sexual activity. The other versions of viral hepatitis can be transmitted via sexual contact however, the risk level of transmission varies between the strains.

    Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is found in the poop and blood of an infected person. It is most commonly transmitted through contaminated food and water sources. For instance, if a chef with the virus has blood or feces on their hands and prepares your food, or if an unwashed/unpeeled fruit that was touched by a person with the virus makes its way into your mouth However, the virus can also be spread through needle sharing or dirty injectable drugs equipment. When it comes to sexual transmission of Hepatitis A, it can be shared through rimming or, any other sexual activity that results in fecal particles making their way into their mouth, whether intentionally or unintentionally .

    Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B can be spread through most bodily fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal secretion, anal secretion, and breast milk. As such, it can be transmitted during breastfeeding, as well as through drug-injection equipment. “It can also be transmitted through most kinds of sexual contact,” says Dr. Pearlman. Actually, this is the strain of the virus most commonly dubbed an STI, she says.

    Addressing Hepatitis For The First Time

    What is hepatitis?

    It is crucial that a treatment counselor or health professional use a nonjudgmental and compassionate tone. Clients need to feel comfortable disclosing information about their health and risky behaviors. The following strategies can help initiate the conversation:

    • Display posters, literature, or other -related items that could help prompt the client to ask questions about hepatitis. .
    • Assess clients ability to discuss , based on their degree of openness in the counseling session, the amount of detail they provide in their responses, and the length of the therapeutic relationship.
    • Raise the subject in a way that avoids making clients feel defensive or afraid. Consider introducing the subject by making parallels with other conditions that have been discussed. Say, for example, You said you were tested for HIV several times. Were you ever tested for viral ? or You mentioned that your friend is sick with HIV. Have you been tested for HCV or HIV? Tell me about those tests.
    • Be patient and allow time for multiple, short conversations about the subject. This might ease feelings of fear, anxiety, or shame.

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    How Long After Hepatitis B Exposure Should You Take A Test

    People who think they may have come into contact with HBV and who are not vaccinated should contact a doctor within to get post-exposure prophylaxis treatment.

    PEP treatment for hepatitis B can consist of the hepatitis B vaccine, an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin, which contains antibodies against HBV, or both.

    The HBF states that it can take up to 9 weeks for HBV to show up in the bloodstream. The organization recommends that individuals who have never received PEP treatment get tested 9 weeks after exposure.

    If the result is negative, a doctor may recommend the completion of the hepatitis B vaccine series.

    Can Hepatitis Patients Spread The Infection To Others

    Patients can spread hepatitis infection and the spread depends on the type and stage of the hepatitis infection. Those suffering from viral hepatitis can easily spread the infection even while being asymptomatic. Those with hepatitis A can spread the infection from the time they are infected. Those with hepatitis B are contagious as long as the virus is present in the blood. Those with hepatitis C infection are contagious and can transmit the infection.

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    How Can I Cover Medication Costs

    New therapies called direct-acting antivirals are effective and can achieve cures of over 90%. Because these new therapies are very new, they remain very expensive. As such, drug coverage from both government and private companies may require that your liver disease has progressed to a certain stage before they are willing to cover the cost of these drugs.

    Talk with your healthcare provider about financial support that may be available.

    Below are useful resources when looking for financial assistance:Private health insurance or drug plansIf you have private health insurance or a drug plan at work, you may be able to have the medication paid through your plan. Please consult your private health insurance or drug plan provider to see if your drug is covered.

    Publicly funded plansEach provincial and territorial government offers a drug benefit plan for eligible groups. Some are income-based universal programs. Most have specific programs for population groups that may require more enhanced coverage for high drug costs. These groups include seniors, recipients of social assistance, and individuals with diseases or conditions that are associated with high drug costs. For more details, please contact your provincial or territorial health care ministry, or click on the appropriate link below.


    Available Patient Assistance Programs for Hepatitis C treatment Holkira Pak Maviret

    MerckCare Hepatitis C Program 1 872-5773 Zepatier

    Are Hepatitis B Tests Accurate

    HCV RNA PCR: What to know about hepatitis C testing

    According to the FDA , home tests can help detect health conditions when people do not have symptoms. However, at-home testing should not replace a doctors visit.

    Individuals should also purchase tests from companies that collaborate with CLIA-certified labs. This ensures that manufacturers regulate laboratory testing.

    The HBF suggests that people get a printed copy of their blood test results so they can discuss them with a doctor and learn more about the condition.

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    Summary Table: Most Common Causes Of Viral Hepatitis

    Infected needle or blood, sexual contact Infected needle or blood, sexual contact
    Incubation Time
    Either sudden or slow, unnoticed Usually slow, unnoticed
    Usually slow-developing and symptoms not specific or strong
    Chronic form?
    Testing to Diagnose Acute Infection HAV-Ab, IgM Anti-HCV, HCV RNA
    Testing to Diagnose Chronic Infection or to Monitor Treatment N/A HBsAg, HBV DNA, HBeAg, Anti-HBe Anti-HCV , HCV RNA or viral load, HCV genotype
    Tests that Detect Previous Infection HAV-Ab, IgG
    Chronic form – Interferon, entecavir, tenofovir, lamivudine, adefovir Chronic form – Interferon

    Abbreviations Defined

    Anti-HBs = Hepatitis B surface antibodyHBsAg = Hepatitis B surface antigenHBeAg = Hepatitis B e-antigenAnti-HBc = Anti-hepatitis B core antigenHBV DNA = Hepatitis B Virus DNA Anti-HCV = Hepatitis C antibodyHCV RNA = Hepatitis C Virus RNA HCV Viral Load = A detection and/or count of the amount of virus in the bloodHCV Genotype = Determines the type of Hepatitis C present

    PreventionThe incidence of new cases of viral hepatitis has decreased due to use of safe injection and safe sex practices and the availability of vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B . Screening units of blood for hepatitis B and C has virtually eliminated infections through blood transfusions. A systematic programme to screen pregnant mothers for hepatitis B and to vaccinate all newborns with infected mothers has greatly decreased new cases of hepatitis B.

    Diagnosing Hepatitis A B & C

    At NYU Langone, hepatologists, or liver specialists, and infectious disease specialists use blood tests to diagnose hepatitis A, B, and C. These viral infections cause inflammation of the liver.

    If the results of a blood test confirm a diagnosis of viral hepatitis, your doctor may recommend imaging tests or a liver biopsy to determine the extent of liver disease.

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    How Does Hepatitis C Spread

    The most common way to contract Hepatitis C is through needles . Pregnant women infected with Hepatitis C can spread the virus to their children at the time of birth. Less common ways to spread Hepatitis C include sexual contact, sharing personal care items like razors, and getting body modification procedures, such as tattoos and piercings, in non-sterile environments.

    Types Of Hepatitis Tests

    Request the test (Hepatitis C)

    Hepatitis testing often begins with preliminary tests to evaluate the liver and detect evidence of hepatitis. Depending on the patients symptoms, medical history, and the results of a physical exam, a patients doctor may order individual tests or broad test panels such as a comprehensive metabolic panel and a liver panel. These tests may be used to evaluate the liver, detect evidence of hepatitis, and begin to narrow down the underlying cause of a patients condition.

    Tests used to diagnose, evaluate, and guide treatment for viral hepatitis may be performed individually when a person has a known or suspected exposure to a specific type of viral hepatitis. In patients without a known or expected exposure, tests may be performed together as part of an acute viral hepatitis panel. An acute viral hepatitis panel detects evidence of the three most common types of hepatitis in the United States: hepatitis A, B, and C.

    Viral hepatitis testing detects antibodies, antigens, or the genetic material of a hepatitis virus. Antigens are substances from the virus that produce an immune response, while antibodies are produced by the immune system after an infection. Tests related to viral hepatitis include:

    Tests Related to Viral Hepatitis
    Test Name
    Blood Antibodies present in primary biliary cholangitis, a type of liver disease

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    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

    For hepatitis C, the CDC recommends that you have a blood test if any of the following is true:

    • Feeling sick to the stomach

    How Is Hepatitis A Treated

    There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A. Mild forms of the disease usually resolve on their own and leave no lasting damage to the liver. The focus is usually on supportive therapy, making sure you are getting enough fluids and nutrition by eating and drinking small amounts several times a day. In rare cases, fulminant hepatitis, a life-threatening form that causes liver failure, requires hospitalization. Hepatitis A tends to be more severe in the elderly and in those who also have chronic liver disease, so person with acute hepatitis A in those settings should be watched more closely.

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    How Common Is Hepatitis A

    In the United States, hepatitis A has become relatively uncommon. After the hepatitis A vaccine became available in 1995, the rate of hepatitis A infections declined by 95 percent in the United States. The number of reported cases of hepatitis A fell to 1,239 in 2014, the lowest yearly number of cases reported since the disease could be tracked.1 However, the number of reported cases increased to 3,366 in 2017, almost 3 times higher, mostly due to outbreaks among people who use drugs and people experiencing homelessness.1 Early reports suggest that the numbers of cases and outbreaks of hepatitis A increased further during 2018 and continue at these higher rates in 2019.2

    Hepatitis A is more common in developing countries where sanitation is poor and access to clean water is limited. Hepatitis A is more common in parts of Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe than it is in the United States.

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