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
- 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.