Hepatitis E laboratory tests

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-In-Chief: Varun Kumar, M.B.B.S. [2]

Laboratory Findings

The following tests are done to identify and monitor liver damage from hepatitis B:

  • Albumin level
  • Liver function tests
  • Prothrombin time
  • Antibody test

Since cases of hepatitis E are not clinically distinguishable from other types of acute viral hepatitis, diagnosis is made by blood tests which detect elevated antibody levels of specific antibodies to hepatitis E in the body or by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Unfortunately, such tests are not widely available.

Hepatitis E should be suspected in outbreaks of waterborne hepatitis occurring in developing countries, especially if the disease is more severe in pregnant women, or if hepatitis A has been excluded. If laboratory tests are not available, epidemiologic evidence can help in establishing a diagnosis.

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