Hepatitis - Diagnosis

The appearance of jaundice is often the first step in diagnosing hepatitis. The change in color of one's skin is so pronounced that most patients seek medical advice when they have that experience.

Confirmation of this diagnosis can be easily obtained with a blood test. A sample of the patient's blood is drawn (taken). The sample is then tested for the presence of viral antigens or viral antibodies. A viral antigen is a part of the virus that causes the body's immune system to react. A viral antibody is the chemical produced by the immune system to destroy the virus. Blood tests for either viral antigens or viral antibodies—or both—are available for all forms of viral hepatitis.

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