What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HCV) are viral infections. For some people, infection with these viruses causes a short-term acute illness that clears. But for others, HBV and HCV can become long-term, chronic infections that can lead to severe liver disease.
What is Chronic Hepatitis?
In the United States, an estimated 1.4 million people are living with chronic HBV infection, and 2.7 million are living with chronic HCV. Unfortunately, most people with these chronic diseases do not know they are infected because he/she does not look or feel ill. However, if left untreated, chronic hepatitis can lead to long-term health problems including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver cancer, and liver failure.
HBV or HCV Testing from BioReference
It is important to know if you have been infected with Hepatitis so you don’t spread it to others, and so you can have follow-up testing to know if you have developed a chronic infection. A simple blood test can tell whether a patient is or was ever infected with HBV or HCV. Patients positive for HBV or HCV antibodies may need further testing to determine current liver health and to help manage treatment, such as viral load measurement.
FibroTest-ActiTest for Chronic Hepatitis
In the past, the only way to manage chronic hepatitis and determine the extent of liver damage was with a liver biopsy– an invasive surgical procedure. The FibroTest-ActiTest, available at BioReference, is a non-invasive alternative that can be performed with a simple blood sample. With FibroTest-ActiTest, physicians can determine how well a patient’s liver is working and the extent of liver inflammation on scarring without the need for an invasive procedure.
HCV Drug Resistance
For patients that have already been diagnosed with HCV, BioReference offers a HCV NS3/NS5 a/b Panel to determine HCV drug resistance (not available fin New York).
When to get Tested
If a doctor believes a patient is at high risk for HBV or HCV infection, he or she may suggest diagnostic testing. In particular, patients born between 1945 and 1965 are at a higher risk for chronic hepatitis.
With FibroTest-ActiTest, you can know how well your liver is working and whether you have any liver damage without the need for an invasive procedure. Speak with your physician to confirm if testing is right for you.