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Hepatitis is an inflammation and enlargement of the liver, usually due to hepatitis virus infection. The hepatitis antigen test is a series of blood tests used to detect and diagnose any infection caused by hepatitis virus strain A, B or C. To perform this test, a blood sample is drawn from a vein in the arm.

When it's done:

This test is performed when a person shows symptoms of liver damage such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue, fever
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Dark-coloured urine or pale-coloured stools

The test is also used to screen individuals who are at a high risk for developing hepatitis virus infection such as those:

  • Infected with HIV
  • With an elevated level of liver enzymes with an unknown cause
  • With sexually transmitted diseases
  • In close contact with patients infected with hepatitis
  • Suffering from chronic liver disease
  • Undergoing long-term dialysis

When to Avoid:

There is no specific condition when this should be avoided but one should consult his/her physician if he is taking any medication because it may interfere with the test results.

How to prepare:

No preparation is required.


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