How Is Hepatitis Diagnosed?

How Is Hepatitis Diagnosed?

Physical Exam

During a physical examination, your doctor may press down gently on your abdomen to see if there’s pain or tenderness. Your doctor may also feel to see if your liver is enlarged. If your skin or eyes are yellow, your doctor will note this during the exam.

Liver Biopsy

A liver biopsy is an invasive procedure that involves the doctor taking a sample of tissue from your liver. This is a closed procedure. In other words, it can be done through the skin with a needle and doesn’t require surgery. This test allows your doctor to determine if an infection or inflammation is present or if liver damage has occurred.

Liver Function Tests

Liver function tests use blood samples to determine how efficiently the liver works. These tests check how the liver clears blood waste, protein, and enzymes. High liver enzyme levels may indicate that the liver is stressed or damaged.

Ultrasound

An abdominal ultrasound uses ultrasound waves to create an image of the organs within the abdomen. This test will reveal fluid in the abdomen, an enlarged liver, or liver damage.

Blood Tests

Blood tests used to detect the presence of hepatitis virus antibodies and antigen in the blood will indicate or confirm which virus is the cause of the hepatitis.

Viral Antibody Testing

Further viral antibody testing may be needed to determine if a specific type of the hepatitis virus is present.